A Children's Story: Wang Cizhong Creates Chinese Characters
[PureInsight.org] Wang Cizhong was a deity in ancient China. He lived two thousand two hundred years ago. Historically, that time was known as the Warring States Period. China was split into many small kingdoms that fought against each other. Some small kingdoms allied together in order to attack a powerful kingdom, while some weak kingdoms followed a powerful kingdom in order to fight other weak kingdoms. During that time, Wang Cizhong lived on a small hill by Xiaoxia Mountain.
Wang Cizhong thought the seal characters (an ancient style of Chinese calligraphy, often used on seals) people were using at that time were difficult to write and also not widely known. It was almost impossible for more people to learn seal characters within a short period of time.
All the states were warring and the situation was very complex. He thought if everyone could read and write, that would be wonderful.
The more Wang thought about it, the more important the issue became to him. So, Wang transformed the seal characters into a simplified version called lishu.
Because the new official script was easy to read as well as to write, the people in all the countries learned to read and write.
There was a kingdom called Qin during the Warring States Period. Qin also engaged in wars with other kingdoms. King Ying Zheng of Qin defeated the other kingdoms and unified them into one country, which was then called China. Therefore, Ying Zheng called himself the First Emperor of China—Qin Shihuang.
Since Wang Cizhong transformed the complicated seal characters into lishu, which were easy to write, the Emperor thought it was good for the people. So, he invited Wang to come to Qin to accept an official position but Wang refused.
The Emperor was very angry. So he sent a second messenger to see Wang. He told the messenger, "I defeated all the kingdoms and unified China. Who dares to go against me? Wang Cizhong is nothing more than a small intellectual. Does he dare not listen to me? This is outrageous! This time if he refuses you, kill him and bring his head to see me. I want everyone to know that nobody can go against me!"
The Emperor's messenger went to see Wang Cizhong and told him about the Emperor's order. Wang was not angry and said nothing. Then he became a beautiful great bird and flew into the blue sky. The messenger was startled and scared. He kneeled down and kowtowed to the bird ceaselessly. He said, "Wang Cizhong, you became a bird and flew away. But how can I report that to the Emperor? He will kill me! I know you are a Deity. Please save me! The great bird hovered for a while, dropping three feathers to him intentionally. The messenger had to take these feathers back for the Emperor to see.
The messenger told the Emperor the whole story from beginning to end. Like all ancient Chinese people, the Emperor knew that through cultivation practice one can become a good person, an even better person, and finally one can become a deity. After hearing the messenger's words, the Emperor understood at once that Wang was a deity. That might have been the reason why Wang had refused to become an official in the royal court. The Emperor deeply regretted what he did.
The place where Wang transformed into a bird is called Luohe Mountain, and now it is in Hebei Province. Even today, the people there still worship him. People there still tell their children the story of deity Wang Cizhong creating Chinese characters.
Children, do you like this story? Some people only focus on becoming famous and making a fortune, while others do not. They prefer to do good deeds and to be good people. In Ancient China, people all knew about cultivation, and they knew people could become a deities if they were good enough. Kids, actually, both things in Chinese traditional culture, such as clothing, myths, Chinese painting, calligraphy and so on, as well as moral standards, like politeness, honesty, kindness, tolerance and friendliness, were all inherited from heaven. Kids, are you able to do this? If you are polite, honest, kind, tolerable of others and friendly, your teachers and parents will be very happy.
All right, we will have more good stories next time. Bye-bye!
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/11/7/18864.html