Meaning of the Idiom
ya miao zhu zhang
Pulling up seedlings to help them grow do harm to a thing by being over-enthusiastic about it.
To Pull up the Seedlings to Help Them Grow
Once upon a time, an old farmer planted a plot of rice. Everyday he went to the field to watch the seedlings grow.
He saw the young shoots break through the soil and grow taller each day. But still, he thought they were growing too slowly. He got impatient with the young plants. “How could the plants grow faster?” He tossed in bed during the night and could not sleep. Suddenly he hit upon an idea. He had an idea not wait for daybreak. He jumped out of the bed and dashed to the field. By the moonlight, he began working on the rice seedlings. One by one, he pulled up the young plants by half an inch. When he finished pulling, it was already morning. Straightening his back, he said to himself, “What a wonderful idea! Look, how much taller the plants have grown one night!”
With great satisfaction, he went back home. He told his son what he had done in a triumphant tone. His son was shocked. Now the sun had risen. The young man was heart-broken to see all the pulled-up young plants dying.
People now use ” Ya Miao Zhu Zhang” to describe the behavior of those who are too eager to get something done only to make it worse. The idiom is a bit like the English proverb “Haste makes waste” ——to spoil things by excessive enthusiasm.
yà miáo zhù zhǎng， 揠，意思是拔。揠苗助长，也可以说拔苗助长，意思是把禾苗拔起来，帮助其更快的成长。比喻违反事物的发展规律，急于求成，最后事与愿违。
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