Lessons from Life: Still Water Runs Deep

PureInsight | July 25, 2005

[PureInsight.org] Sir Walter Raleigh (1552–1618 A.D.) was the quintessential English Renaissance man. He was a skilled poet, seaman, warrior, explorer, politician, and courtier. In a poem titled, "The Silent Lover," he compared passion to passing and inconstant floods and streams.

"Passions are liken'd best to floods and streams:
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb;
So, when affection yields discourse, it seems
The bottom is but shallow whence they come.
They that are rich in words, in words discover
That they are poor in that which makes a lover."

An elderly person once told me a story when I was little: One morning, a father asked his son to take a leisurely walk in the woods with him, and his son gladly obliged. In the middle of the walk, they stopped at a crossroads. After a moment of silence, the man asked his son, "What do you hear besides the birds' chirping?" The son listened carefully for a few seconds and replied, "I hear a carriage." The man said, "Correct. It is also an empty carriage." His son was astonished by what his father could hear. "We cannot see the carriage from here," he said. "Father, how did you tell it was an empty carriage?" The man explained, "I can tell from its noise. An empty carriage makes more noise."

When the son grew up, he would remember his father's words of wisdom. When he met those seeming eloquent men who repeatedly interrupted others and looked down on everyone else, he would think of his father's words, "An empty carriage makes more noise."

Those who have a lot of experiences in crossing unfamiliar bodies of water have learned to throw a pebble into the water before attempting to cross it. If it causes a large splash, the body of water is shallow. If it causes only a small splash or the water is quiet, the body of water must run very deep. Still water runs deep. Deep water makes little noise. An empty carriage makes more noise. I guess it means that we should try to be humble in our daily lives. If we humbly listen to other people's opinions and are not eager to make our opinions known immediately, we will avoid many heated debates or arguments and will learn from other people's wisdom.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/7/18/33152.html

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