Shelter for Life (II): The Most Precious Thing in Life

Zheng Tu

PureInsight | June 5, 2006

[] What is the most precious thing in the world? Every person may have a different answer to this question.

When a man is young, he might obtain huge wealth with his hard work and
good fortune. While enjoying a high social status and fame, he feels
what he has is the perfect life.

When he meets his soul-mate, he suddenly realizes a love like that is the most precious thing in life.

Time passes by, washing youth away. When his beloved family member gets
ill, dying before his eyes, he cries bitterly over his loss. At that
point his only wish is to buy the health of the beloved one with
everything he has in his whole life.

Then he gets old. He leaves his property to the next generation. On his
death bed, he watches his children fighting over the inheritance he
leaves behind for them. He cannot help feeling sad, wondering what he
had worked for in his entire life.

Our hearts change when our situations change.

I remember when I was a child I didn't sleep well for many days when I
could not have a toy I liked. I also remember refusing to talk to other
kids for a long time after a little fight. When I think of these
things, I cannot help but laugh at myself for caring so much about such
trivialities. In a few years from now, when we look back at what we are
now worried and happy about, won't we laugh at ourselves again?

People often lament, "Human hearts are degenerating each day." I know
it's true. If people keep degenerating like this, people will end up
doing whatever it takes to gain a little self-interest for themselves.
If others are bad to them, they treat others even worse. Won't the
situation be horrible?

In such a society, everyone is in danger. A few days ago I read a news
story. On May 4, 2006, a millionaire was driving down the street in
Dalian City,  mainland China, in his BMW. When he stopped at a red
light, a man threatened him with a knife in order to carjack the BMW.
The millionaire jumped out of the car to save himself and watched the
robber gleefully roaring off in his car. The whole incident took less
than 10 seconds.

Someone recently discussed with me over the reasons why the paths of
our lives seems to have gotten narrower and narrower with fewer and
fewer choices. I think it happens because people in our society are all
chasing after and protecting their own profits. You cannot say it is
someone's fault, but each and every one of us has contributed to the
formation of such a situation.

Having said that, the question naturally ensues is: what is the way out?

What about a power that can guide people back to truthfulness and benevolence?

I remember reading a story about a bet between Wind and Sun on who
could make a person take off his coat first. On a cold day, a man
walked outside in a heavy coat. Wind tried to blow hard to bring the
man's coat off, but as Wind blew stronger, it got colder, and the man
wrapped his coat tighter around himself. So Wind failed. Then Sun came
out from behind the cloud, and shone warm sunlight on the ground. The
man felt hot and took off his coat.

Benevolence has great power. It tears down the walls between people and brings hope to human society.

It's said that a kind word keeps you warm in cold winter, while a bad
word makes you cold in mid summer. In fact everything we do and say,
good or evil, affects others more or less, and will finally come back
to us, because we are all individual components of our society.

So how should we feel when we see people who behave according to the
principle of "truthfulness, benevolence and forbearance"? And how will
our attitude affect the future of society?

The most precious thing in life might be something we are most likely to ignore.

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