Reflections on Life: Performing One Good Deed a Day

Guan Ming

PureInsight | December 5, 2007

[] People with
great wisdom in the human world will not only be busy doing things,
they also have free space spiritually and often reflect on their
mistakes to purify their mental state. The highest realm a cultivator
in ancient China strove for was being calm and without intentions,
because being overly greedy would lead one to be extremely busy with
secular acts and being confused by material interests would degenerate
one's true nature without being noticed. Only by concentrating one's
mind and cultivating in tranquility can one reach purification of mind
and body. However, most modern people are busy trying to gain fame and
material interests. Each of their working days is tightly scheduled and
they are bothered by continuous cell phone calls even when during meals
or going to the bathroom. They often have a hard time catching their
breath. This kind of lifestyle makes it impossible for one to do things
perfectly; neither will it allow people to elevate spiritually.

A while ago, I got to know a painter who has had a dozen individual
shows of his work and has participated in hundreds of exhibitions.
Regardless of the number of visitors, many or a few, whether receiving
awards or not, he always displayed a pleasant smile on his face. Some
people asked: "How can you feel so happy every day?"

He asked in return: "Why wouldn't I feel happy?"

The people surrounding him all wanted him to reveal his secret of being
happy, so he told of an experience from his childhood. When he was
small, he had wide range of interests and was also eager to excel. From
painting, playing the accordion, swimming, to playing basketball, he
learned every one of them and he also had to be the number one. This
was, of course, impossible. When he couldn't become the best, he would
feel defeated, causing his grades to fall a great deal. On one
interterm test, he even fell into the lowest group of the class on the

When his father learned of this, he did not criticize him. Instead, he
found a small funnel and a handful of corn seeds and put them on the
table after dinner. His father then said to him: "I will do an
experiment with you tonight," and asked him to put his hand under the
funnel. He then threw one corn seed into the funnel and the seed fell
into his hands through the funnel. Father threw about ten seeds in and
in his hands were ten seeds. At last, his father put a handful of seeds
into the funnel. The corn seeds blocked each other and not even one
fell through. Father said with great significance: "This funnel is like
you. If you do one thing well each day, you will have the harvest and
happiness of one seed. However, if you want to jam all the things
together, it will be the opposite; you won't harvest even one seed."
More than twenty years have passed, and he has clearly remembered his
father's teaching: "Do one thing well each day and face life leisurely,
with a smile."

From this, we know that if one chooses to do one good deed and do one
thing well each day, and can face his life with a smile even when
encountering tribulations, it won't be difficult for him to reach the
spiritual realm of being in great freedom and leisure. There are many
small things in the world, and as long as one puts one's heart to them,
it is very easy to do one good deed a day. For example, treating people
with sincerity every day, not lying or speaking nonsense, this is
kindness. Treating people with a compassionate heart and thinking of
others first in any situations, this is kindness. Forgiving other's
mistakes and being tolerant and convincing with virtue, this is also
kindness. Holding benevolent thoughts every day and doing good deeds
every day, one will become a truly good person, while good people in
the human world will definitely helped by God and live a full, healthy
and peaceful life.

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