Thoughts about Life: The Wisdom of Ordinary Kindness

Guan Ming

PureInsight | October 1, 2006

[] In this
practical society, because all sorts of external environmental factors
can influence people, it is very difficult for people to completely
control their thoughts and feelings.  All kinds of different
sentiments and feelings, joy, happiness, sadness, anger, etc, regularly
disturb people's thinking. When one runs into someone or something he
loves, one feels very happy. When one loses friends or relatives, he
feels utterly bereft. Upon encountering someone or something that is
difficult to understand, one often feels indignant or angry.  If
someone can't deal with life's losses and gains with composure, then he
won't be able to maintain his heart as calm as a tranquil pond. 
Zhuge Liang, a famous ancient Chinese thinker of vast wisdom, once
said,  "Be calm to cultivate one's character, be frugal to
accumulate virtue. If one doesn't live without pursuit, he will not
achieve his goal. If one doesn't maintain tranquility, he will not
travel far." When it comes to any matter in the human world, only with
a calm heart can one achieve the optimal state.

Modest living is a kind of sublime, profound wisdom. There is a
publication called "Cartoon Weekly." In order to quickly increase
interest in the publication and to increase circulation, the
publication held a contest.  They called for submissions depicting
"the World's Last Moment," asking the artist to depict what the artist
or the artist's family would be doing at the last moment before the end
of the world. Within a short time, submissions were sent in from across
the globe and piled up like a mountain.   In hopes of winning
the prize money, readers used their imagination and energy to produce
works of excellent quality. Some pictures were of lovers holding close
with an emptied beer bottle on the side, some pictures were of people
burning a big pile of money in the street, and then there were some
pictures that were of people riding in a spacecraft hurriedly fleeing


But in the end it was a housewife who won the $100,000 prize.  Her
entry was drawn with a pencil on a piece of wrapping paper. She drew
herself at the kitchen sink just about to turn off the water after
washing the dishes; her husband sits on the floor next to the table,
there are also two little boys playing with building blocks.  The
committee of judges praised this picture that appeared ordinary: 
"we are astonished with the serenity of this family.  They are not
tempted by things around them, nor are they terrified by the imminent
danger. They understand the meaning of the world and life's highest

When wonder and brilliance reach the very end, they become
ordinary.  After taking up the path of cultivation I have
encountered many kind and compassionate faces around me.  As
cultivators put down worldly concerns for reputation, gain, and
sentimentality and thereafter strictly require themselves to improve
according to the "Zhen, Shan, Ren" standard, their hearts become clear
like water.  On encountering danger they fear not, when praised
they do not become excited, when humiliated they remain calm, they are
free of anger and free of worries, in everything they are
conciliatory.  They don't compete with others, they don't pursue
worldly fame or gains, with this detached manner and character they
earn other people's admiration, but this magnanimity and strength of
character come only through cultivation.  It is their lofty
spiritual realms that create their tranquil fields one by one. They are
the light of the universe, and wherever they are they illuminate
people's hearts.

Translated from:

Add new comment