Elon Musk tweets 1,800-year-old Chinese poem calling for peace

Elon Musk randomly tweets 1,800-year-old Chinese poem calling for peace – baffling followers and sparking speculation about its secret meaning

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk, 50, tweeted an 1,800-year-old poem on Monday night asking for ‘peace’
  • The tweet contained the ancient Chinese poem The Quatrain of Seven Steps in its original Mandarin language with ‘Humankind’ written above it
  • The poem refers to conflict in close relationships which is taught to Chinese primary school children about getting along
  • Chinese and Western social media users were confused on the poem’s meaning
  • Some attributed it to Musk’s rivalry with a world hunger program director who he promised $6 billion if the organization shared how it would solve it
  • Others related it to conflict between two dog-themed cryptocurrency groups 

Tesla CEO billionaire Elon Musk tweeted an 1,800-year-old Chinese poem on Monday night asking for ‘peace’ – and leaving users confused about what he meant. 

Musk, 50, posted the poem, The Quatrain of Seven Steps, in Mandarin with the word ‘Humankind’ above it on both Twitter and the Chinese social media site Weibo.

The ancient poem describes conflict in close relationships and is used in Chinese primary schools to teach children to get along.

But Chinese social media users were bewildered by the poem, unsure of Musk’s reasoning behind the post.

Tesla CEO billionaire Elon Musk, 50, tweeted an ancient Chinese poem on Monday calling for ‘peace’

The tweet pulled from the The Quatrain of Seven Steps poem in original Mandarin with the word ‘Humankind’ written above it

The fifth century poem, translated from the original Mandarin, tells the story of two brothers during China’s Three Kingdom period between 192 and 232AD.

Moss Roberts, a Chinese professor at NYU, translated the ancient poem into English: ‘Beans a simmer on a beanstalk flame. From inside the pot expressed their ire. Alive we sprouted on a single root. What’s your rush to cook us on the fire?’

He later liked another translation of the tweet posted in response on Twitter: ‘Humans are from the same ancestor, why are we so eager to destroy each other?’ 

The ancient Chinese poem details a story about rivalry between two brothers which is used in the country’s primary schools to teach children about getting along

The story of the poem was related to the rivalry between brothers Cao Pi and Cao Zhi, sons of the warlord Cao Cao. 

The older Cao Pi, who succeeded his father, wanted to kill the younger Cao Zhi because he was jealous of his brother’s literary talent. 

Cao Pi forced his younger brother to create a poem about their brotherhood using seven steps verse, a type of allegorical poem that now is usually attributed to the poet Cao Zhi.

If Cao Zhi failed, he would be executed by his jealous brother.

The younger brother succeeded in his task and produced the poem Musk quoted. His life spared as Cao Pi was touched by his brother’s words. 

Social media users were left confused by the tweet as some attributed it to the rivalry between Musk and World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley who had asked the Tesla CEO to donate $6 billion to help world hunger

Others attributed the post to the rivalry between two dog-themed cryptocurrency groups Dogecoin and Shiba Inu

The reason behind why Musk tweeted the poem is still unclear as Chinese and Western social media users were left to speculate. 

Some speculated that it was related to a recent argument Musk had with program director David Beasley of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Beasley asked a group of billionaires, including Musk, to donate $6 billion to help feed 42 million people. Musk agreed to donate to the program, only if the group agreed to share how the money would help fight world hunger. 

After an online back-and-forth, Beasley said Monday he wanted to show Musk in person how his money would help. It is unclear if Musk agreed. 

Another theory suggested that Musk was referring to the rivalry between two dog-themed cryptocurrency groups Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inu, which was created in rivalry with Dogecoin, recently surpassed it in market value, according to Vice.

Social media users on both Twitter and Weibo communicated their thoughts on Musk’s tweet, with some even offering online translations of the tweet.

Social media users provided their own translations of Musk’s tweets

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