Jan 15 2010

道不同不相为谋 – daobutongbuxiangweimou

道不同不相为谋 – dao4bu4tong2bu4xiang1wei2mou2

Literal meaning of each character – road/path – not – same – not – mutually – for/do/accomplish – idea/plan/scheme

One dictionary defines this Ancient Chinese Proverb as “people with different principles will not make common cause”

My understanding of this proverb is to do with people’s outlooks on life and life goals.  I most often use this proverb when talking about marriage.  If 2 people don’t have the same or similar goals in life they aren’t compatible for marriage.  It doesn’t necessarily mean one person is better than the other, they just simply aren’t compatible.

This might be something one could use in order to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend in a nice way.  I have never tried it myself, but it would be a logical usage.  It’s a nice way to say “we aren’t compatible”, only if what you are saying is true of course.  You would have to be on a different “path” then your soon to be ex-partner.

Basically any situation where you have different goals or different life paths, so working or being together will not accomplish anything of mutual benefit, in fact it may make life harder and therefore it’s better to part.

2 Responses to “道不同不相为谋 – daobutongbuxiangweimou”

  1. P Chan says:

    This proverb is not related to love or romance. It’s more to do with differences in principle forces people to separate. For example, if someone wants to be your friend but you found you have differences in principle/ethics, then you would state this proverb to indicate you don’t want to make friend with this person.

  2. says:

    Thanks for your input

    I never said this proverb was directly related to love or romance, but surely it could be used in this way ? Your explanation of the proverb is in line with my thinking. You have shown how it can be used within a friendship context, surely the same principle applies for people separating romantically as well ? I would think this proverb is useful for both and maybe even more situations like for example a business relationship ?

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