Jīn zhāo yǒu jiǔ jīn zhāo zuì
Translation: Get drunk while wine is still available today.
Meaning: Live in the here and now, not worrying about the future.
This proverb comes from a sentence from a poem written by Luo Yin, or Luo the Hermit (originally named Luo Heng), a famous poet of the Tang dynasty (618–907). As a prodigy and diligent student, he had been very aspiring and ambitious. His desire to serve the country only increased with his age. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side. At the time, China had an imperial civil service examination system to select the best people in the society to serve in the state bureaucracy. One had to pass the regional test before becoming eligible for the national examination. Twice did Luo Yin fail his regional exams despite his talent and knowledge. He was so disappointed and disheartened that he vowed not to seek fame or office any more. He changed his name and became a hermit. In his care-free solitude, he wrote: