"One day, when Confucius’s distinguished disciple, Yan Hui, was out running errands, he saw two men fighting in front of a fabric store. The seller asked the buyer for twenty four dollars, but the buyer shouted, “If it’s three dollars per foot for this fabric, and 3 x 8 = 23, why should I pay you 24?”
Upon hearing this, Yan Hui approached the buyer and said, “My friend, your calculations are wrong. 3 x 8 = 24, that is the amount you should pay.”
Refusing to comply, the buyer angrily pointed at Yan Hui and said, “What gives you the right to speak? Only Confucius is qualified to decide whether 3 x 8 = 23 or 24. Let’s go ask him!”
“Fine! Confucius happens to be my teacher. What are you going to do if he says you are wrong?” asked Yan Hui.
“If I am wrong, I will give you my head. But what if you are wrong?”
“If I am wrong, I will give you this hat that I am wearing on my head.”
The two went to Confucius and explained the dilemma to him. Confucius immediately turned to Yan Hui and said, “Yan Hui, you have lost. 3 x 8 is 23. Give him your hat!” When he heard this, Yan Hui felt like the world had been turned upside down, and he thought, “Can it be that Teacher has lost his mind?” However, since he never disobeyed his teacher, he quietly took off his hat and gave it to the buyer.
Afterwards, the more Yan Hui thought about the incident, the more troubled he became. Finally, he could not help but ask,
“My teacher, is 3 x 8 = 23 or 24 after all?”
In response, Confucius asked him, “Tell me, which is more important, someone’s head (life) or someone’s hat?”
“Someone life, of course!” replied Yan Hui.
“That is correct. If I said 3 x 8 = 23, a hat would be all that you lose, but if I were to say 3 x 8 = 24, then he would have lost his life!” said Confucius.
In Buddhism, nothing remains fixed and unchangeable. Since rules can be flexible, 3 x 8 can be 24, 23, or even infinity. There is no need to be attached to a fixed answer. This is the wisdom of a sage." contado pelo mestre chinês Hsing Yun