Meaning of the Idiom
hou lai ju shang（to catch up from behind）
Ji An lived at the time of Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D.24). He was respected because he was upright and just and spoke the truth. He did not care about trifles in his conduct and as an official. Because of this. Therefore, he was appointed to the post of managing the local officials.
Once, Emperor Wu said that he would implement the Confucian policy of benevolence and justice and do good things for the people. However, ji an interrupted the emperor, saying, “Why should you pretend to implement the policy of benevolence and benevolence when you are so greedy inwardly?”
Emperor Wu turned pale and left. Everyone was worried that Ji An would be punished.. When emperor Wu returned to the palace, he complained to his aides that Ji An was too rude and forthright.
From this time on, Ji An was never promoted again. His contemporaries, Gong Sun Hong and Zhang Tang, were promoted to very senior positions, but Ji An never got promoted.
One day, Ji An said to Emperor Wu, “You appoint officials in the same way as you arrange firewood. ‘Put the latest ones on them.’” Of course, Emperor Wu could tell this was a complaint. Then he turned to the others and said, “Everyone really can’t stop learning! You listen to him, it’s getting more and more strange!”
The idiom “later comes first” often means that the latter can outperform the former.
[hòu lái jū shàng]，原指资历浅的反而位在资历长的之上；现在多用来比喻后来的人和事，进步很快，赶上或超过了先前的。
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