Master Liang’s Idioms: To Hit the Dog with a Meat DumplingMar 20, 2023
用 肉 饺 子 打 狗
yòng ròu jiǎo zi dǎ gǒu
The idiom is indicating things that can never be returned. No dog would ever return a piece of meat thrown to it.
Master Liang would usually blurt out this statement any time he heard talk of someone loaning or borrowing money, a book, sword, or music tape. Usually right after saying it he would jovially comment, “No chance of return.”
It wasn’t that he believed no one ever returned an item or repaid others, but he used this idiom as he said to remind students that borrowing and lending always comes with problems, and that we should never be surprised nor angered when things are not returned.
He always looked at borrowing and loaning as “giving,” and giving should always end with the act of giving. He believed people shouldn’t hang on to thoughts of when things would be returned, as that will only incite greed, anger, and contention.
As he would say, “It is better to just give than to loan.” Otherwise, we will only end up damaging our spirit with negative impulses if things are not returned.
So, whenever someone asked Master Liang if he could loan them something, he would simply say, “No, but I will give it to you. This way I will feel more charitable, and you will have less anxiety and guilt. Besides, the dog naturally never feels guilt about taking the meat dumpling, and never has thoughts of returning it. Best to follow the Way of the Dog.”
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