According to the Chinese, when you save someone's life...
June 7, 2010 5:37 PM Subscribe
According to Chinese tradition/proverbs... what happens when you save somebody's life? Is the person you saved indebted to you, for the rest of their days? Or are you, through the act of saving their life, now responsible for their life?
posted by avoision to Religion & Philosophy (9 answers total)
This is a little embarrassing to ask, since I'm actually Chinese. But I've asked my parents, and they weren't a lot of help on the matter (they didn't recall any specific saying or tradition).
I'm trying to figure out if this is even a Chinese proverb, something Confucius said, or if I'm just making it all up. I heard somewhere as a kid, if you save someone's life... they then owed you a life-debt. And technically, they should do whatever they could to help you, if you ever are in need/trouble.
Later on, I heard that it wasn't a debt. But that through saving someone's life, you then were responsible for that person... from that moment forward. You were obligated to look after them, and provide comfort and aid if they were ever in need again.
I'm looking for any kind of citation or reference to a quotation, book, etc. But honestly, I'm open to whatever info or feedback others have. FYI this is part of an essay I'm writing, and knowing which way the saying/proverb leans will drastically change the arc of the narrative.