In ancient times, there lived a man called Zhu. He heard that there was an old hunter called Ma Tan who knew how to kill dragons. So, Zhu went to him and asked to teach him how to kill dragons.
– It’s a difficult art – replied Ma Tan. – Are you ready to study from morning till evening without taking any rest for five years? And do you have the money to pay for the lessons?
– Yes, – said Zhu, and began his education.
Five long years passed. All these years Zhu diligently studied how to defeat the dragons. He returned to the village without a penny in his pocket, but he was now able to kill any dragon.
Zhu lived a long life, but never met a dragon. And since he did not know how to do anything else, his life flowed in sorrow and poverty.
And only after getting really old, Zhu realized a simple truth: knowledge is only good if people need it and can benefit from it.
- The moral is that knowledge is good, but useful knowledge is even better.
- A Casket of Wisdom. Ancient Chinese Fables. L., 1961.