Zilu asked if it was a good idea to put a teaching into practice immediately after he first heard it.
Confucius replied, “While your father and older brother are still alive, how can you put teaching into practice immediately?”
When Ran You asked the same question, however, Confucius replied, “Oh yes, put it into practice right away.”
Gongxi Hua asked, “When Zilu asked you, you told him he shouldn’t be in such a hurry because his father and older brother are still alive. But when Ran You asked you the same thing, you told him to practice immediately. Can I ask why?”
Confucius said, “Ran You tends to hold back, so I push him forward. Zilu has the energy of two people, so I hold him back.”