17.1

Yang Huo wanted to see Confucius, but Confucius didn’t want to see him. Yang Huo sent him the present of a suckling pig. Confucius chose to offer his thanks at a time when he knew Yang Huo wouldn’t be home. On his way back home, however, he met him in the street.

Yang Huo said, “Come here, I have something to tell you! Would you call someone humane if he clutches a great jewel to himself while his state is going to hell? I don’t think so! Would you call someone wise if he wants to take part in government but then lets every opportunity to do so slip through his fingers? I don’t think so! Days and months go by—time is not on our side!”

Confucius replied, “Alright, I’ll accept an office.”