Waiting Rabbit Under A Tree
My informant first heard this saying when he complained to his mother about the amount of work his senior year in high school. His mother remarked that he was a waiting rabbit under a tree, meaning that he had plenty of potential, but he was unwilling to put out the effort to pursue success. However, this saying could also mean that one is waiting for a correct moment to act, although the difference between performing that act now as opposed to any other time is negligible. An example my informant gave to me was waiting for something to happen before asking a girl on a date. In case, waiting would have not real purpose, thus the person being a waiting rabbit under a tree.
This saying has not real equivalent phrase in the english language. perhaps the closest phrase would be better now then ever. Although this saying only covers one side of both meanings of the Chinese phrase. This saying has a similarity to the english phrase, the tortoise beats the hare. However, in the english phrase, the setting is a running competition, where the chinese saying is advocation personal achivement. Perhaps this is indicitive of the two nations culture. In America, business entrepreneurship is much celebrated, and thus it is only natural that the saying is referring to a competition, which is very commonplace in the business world. The ancient chinese saying, on the other hand, is about acting true to one’s own self, or living up to one’s own potential.