Chuang Tzu with his bamboo pole was fishing in the Pu river. The prince of Chu sent two vice-chancellors with a formal document: We hereby appoint you prime minister.
Chuang Tzu held his bamboo pole still.Watching the Pu river, he said:“I am told there is a sacred tortoise offered and canonized three thousand years ago,venerated by the prince, wrapped in silk,in a precious shrine on an altar in the temple.
What do you think? Is it better to give up one’s life and leave a sacred shell as an object of cult in a cloud of incense for three thousand years,or to live as a plain turtle dragging its tail in the mud?”
“For the turtle”, said the vice-chancellor,“better to live and drag its tail in the mud!”
“Go home!”, said Chuang Tzu.“Leave me here to drag my tail in the mud.” http://www.osholeela.com/poetry/chuangtzu/