A grasping boor

子曰:「鄙夫可與事君也與?其未得之也,患得之;既得之,患失之。苟患失之,無所不至矣!」
Confucius said: “Is it possible to work with a grasping boor in the service of a lord? Before he gets what he wants, he worries about getting it; once he gets it, he worries about losing it; and when he worries about losing it, he becomes capable of anything.”

Although he himself was from a relatively poor lower middle class family, Confucius can’t quite conceal his disdain for other ambitious though less-educated young men fighting their way up the greasy pole.
鄙 (bǐ) means “rustic”, “coarse”, “vulgar”, or “base”. Even in Confucius’s time there was a huge gap between the self-styled urban elite and the bumpkins from the countryside.

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