A long time ago, in Henan there was a young man named Le whose family was very poor.
One day, Le Yangzi picked up a piece of gold on the road. He happily took it home and gave it to his wife. His wife said in all seriousness:
"I heard that men with aspiration do not drink from the Dao (meaning steal in Chinese) Spring, and honest men do not take handout food. Furthermore, picked-up money and things will stain one's moral character."
Hearing this, Yangzi was very ashamed of himself. So he threw the piece of gold away in the open field.
This incident touched Le Yangzi deeply. He made up his mind to leave home and go to a faraway place to study under a master.
One year later, Le Yangzi returned home. His wife inquired why he returned so soon. Le Yangzi smiled and said:
"There is no other reason except that I, being all alone away from home, miss you so much that I come back."
His wife turned pale at his words. She took up a knife, ran to the silk loom, put the knife on the silk fabric woven from natural silk, and said to Le Yangzi in an agitated tone:
"I reeled silk strand by strand from cocoons and, with the shuttle moving to and fro, weaved it inch by inch into this bolt of silk fabric. Now if I should cut the fabric with the knife, all the previous efforts and time I've devoted would be wasted. While studying, you should always remind yourself that there is yet much more to learn. Only in this way can you cultivate a noble moral character. If you give up halfway, it will be just like cutting up this silk fabric at one stroke."
Deeply moved by his wife's words, Le Yangzi bid farewell to her at once, went to the faraway place, and made determined efforts to study hard. He had been away from home for a good seven years, and finally succeeded in his studies.