During the Warring States Period, there was a man named Meng Ke [Mencius], who everyone called MengZi. Menzi was very good at creating analogies to foster discussion. 
At that time, there was a person who criticized Mencius for not trying harder to help the King of Qi. Mencius explained plainly, saying, “Take this as an example: there are some plants that live well on this earth [lit: under heaven], but if you take them and put them in the sun to dry for ten days, then you take them and put them in the gloom and cold to freeze for ten days, even if their vitality is strong they’re still going to die. My opportunities to see the King of Qi have been less and less, so even if I gave him some good influence and help, as soon as I leave, some people that don’t advocate the same things I do will influence him negatively. [That being the case,] how can I improve the quality of the King of Qi’s thinking?”