Meaning of the Idiom
ben mo dao zhi（putting the cart before the horse）
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), the king of Qi once sent an messenger to greet the mother of king of Zhao. The Queen of Zhao asked the messenger, “Is your harvest good this year? Are the people safe? Is the king safe and sound?”
Hearing this, the messenger was displeased and said, “You did not inquire about the king of Qi first, but about the harvest and the people. Shall we put the lowly first and the noble behind?”
The Queen of Zhao smiled and said, “No. If there is no harvest, how can there be people? If there are no people, how can there be a king? Is it possible to give up the basics and ask only trifles(putting the cart before the horse)?”
The messenger of the state of Qi was speechless for a moment.
[běn mò dào zhì]，本末倒置（本：树根。末：树梢）比喻颠倒了事物的轻重主次。
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