Qí rén yōu tiān
Translation: The man from Qi who worries that the sky will fall down.
Meaning: To be overly concerned, to have unfounded fears.
The story was written by Lie Yukou, a Chinese philosopher (c. 5th century BCE), who also authored the famous “An old fool moves two mountains” fable.
There once lived a man in the State of Qi, who had the habit of getting worried without any reason. One day, he was struck by the fear that the sky might fall down. Another day he dreaded that the earth would sink. He was so scared that he could neither sleep nor eat, and his neighbors began to worry about him. They came over to tell him that every day he was living in the air that constituted the sky, and there was nothing to be afraid of. Not convinced, the man of Qi asked, “If the sky were formed of air, could it carry the sun, the moon, and the stars? Wouldn’t they fall at some point?” His neighbors were taken aback by this question, and could only give him an unscientific answer to try and comfort him. They said that those celestial bodies were made of air too, and that the only difference was that they were illuminated. Even if they should fall, they would have been harmless. The man of Qi, however, was still terrified by the thought that he might sink with the earth. His neighbors again tried their best to allay his unfounded fear, arguing that the earth was nothing but an accumulation of solid dirt. “You step on it no matter where you go,” they added, “so what’s there to be scared of?” On hearing this, the man of Qi broke into a smile, the first in a very long time.
This proverb describes people who are often unreasonably worried about things that will never happen.
|杞||Qǐ||the State of Qi|
|人||rén||person, people (N)|
|忧||yōu||to worry, to be concerned (V)|
|天||tiān||heaven, sky (N)|
|天空||tiānkōng||sky, the air (N)|
You are always worried for no reason, just relax!
The so-called “Mayan Prophecy of 2012” as the end of the world is mistaken by the contemporary world. So don’t worry unnecessarily.