I was in the midst of watching a drama serial last night and heard this very familiar sounding phrase, “shan shui you xiang fung – 山水有相逢”
This is a beautiful Chinese idiom as it made use of nature’s best scene to remind us not to go overboard. Basically it brings out the idea that people close to us that we made enemy, will eventually come back to our life for another fight. Just imagine how water from the top of a mountain flows down. Due to the terrain, this water will be separated but will eventually meet and be combined again. It is the law of nature.
Chinese people like to use this a lot, but I do notice that mostly unkind & revengeful people will say such a thing. For someone who will say this after a big fallout, shows that he/she will remember the humiliation and shall attempt to take revenge, should the chance arises.
Personally, I do believe that enemies will probably meet again in future. Thus, in whatever fights/argument/fallout/back-stabbing/conflict of interest, that we may engage in, do try to hold it back a little. Do not go all the way. Give your enemy a way out as well. For example, if u must take someone’s job away due to some reason, do try to assist him by helping him find another job or give him some money.
To be honest, this idiom is mainly use to remind powerful people not to go overboard and think of the possible payback in future. Now, if you are one of those kind souls, who always had others interest at your heart and care for people, this is not applicable to you at all. In fact, if you are one of those kind souls (W.), please do not think about this when you are dealing with others. As you are already kind-hearted, further usage of this idiom will only make you too kind and allows other to take advantage of you.