孟母三迁 (Mèngmŭsānqiān), “the three moves of Mencius’ mother”, is a story about the importance of education and the determination of a mother.
Born 200ish years after Confucius himself, the philosopher Mencius (or Mèngzĭ) is sometimes called “the second sage” of China. But his wisdom may not have been so great if it weren’t for his almost-as-famous mother.
Mama Mèng was poor, and lost her husband early. When she and Mencius moved to a house near a cemetery, she saw her son grow up while imitating the cries of the mourning - certainly not a place for a child!
They next moved close to a marketplace, but here the kid learned to boast and lie like the travelling merchants. Not good either, she thought, and moved again.
Finally, the little family settled next to a school, where well-mannered scholars conversed and studied. “Here is a place for my child”, she thought, and Mencius grew up as a lover of wisdom - a philosopher!
Location, location, location. Flickr