Summary of Life of Twenty Characters
- In helping others achieve their goals, you achieve beyond your own goals.
- Be loyal to your country, family, and friends.
- True loyalty is to harmoniously handle any matter, neither being extreme nor lackadaisical.
- When weighing the importance of matters, one must choose beyond self-importance.
- When evaluating effectiveness, one must choose the farthest-reaching results beyond self-interest.
- Forgiveness relieves tension among people and pacifies our heart and mind.
- To forgive and to pardon restores our peaceful mind.
- Being unforgiving means holding onto grudges and resentments which actively make yourself unhappy.
- Forgiveness makes people happy and unforgiveness makes people unhappy. The choice is obvious without analysis.
- Do not blame the heavens or others; We are solely responsible for whether our mind can be at peace or not.
- To live with integrity is to live simply and plainly, so that it can lessen the urge to win and to live extravagantly.
- To live with integrity is to have an incorruptible mind unmoved by fame or self-interest, so that it can deter greedy desire.
- Being happy is not derived from having possessions; it is from living simply without mental attachments to materials.
- Being unhappy is not derived from lacking in possessions; it is from living with the complexity of material attachments.
- Pride comes not from your possessions, but from your ability to inspire others through your good deeds.
- Know yourself first because, while knowing others requires intelligence, knowing yourself makes one proficient at understanding life.
- Scrutinizing others often hinders self-introspect for our mistake; Knowing yourself often take it lightly to scrutinize on other’s oversight.
- Do not show off your shrewdness and worry not what others may think of your gentle nature, which is what makes you a good human being.
- Knowing and forging such knowledge in life is true understanding.
- Alcohol, lust, avarice and anger can defile one’s behavior. People who can remain unstained have a true understanding of those dangerous habits.
- Forbearance and humility are the inner ethics; generosity to aid society is the outer ethics.
- Benefiting yourself at the expense of others and ignoring public welfare is unethical.
- Ethics engenders a peaceful mind that easily leads to happiness.
- Ethics can be used to deal with life tactfully to avoid creating distress.
- Treating others ethically is the noblest human quality to positively influence those we encounter.
- 事與願違，使人不開心。心身與正確思想相違，更是成敗得失的始末 。
- Everything that is upright is proper. What is not upright, such as a crooked mind, a negative thought, or a vicious deed is improper.
- Material that can stand upright is useful; an upright person is trustworthy.
- Everyone wants happiness, but neglects the hardening of their negative emotions.
- Everyone wants to do good, but neglects first having an upright mindset.
- Unfulfilled wishes make one unhappy. The fundamental cause for failure is when one’s actions contradict one’s upright thinking.
- The moral principle of righteousness is to put others first.
- Unconditional to help others’ predicament is the most righteous act.
- Righteousness fosters good rapport with people and is a powerful source of happiness.
- Most of the family turmoil and litigation are instigated through self-interest superseding righteousness. Unrighteousness breaks people apart and so is the root cause of strife.
- Compassion eases others’ dissatisfaction. Our lives become more fulfilled as dissatisfaction lessen in the world.
- An untrustworthy person cannot succeed. A distrustful society or country becomes chaotic.
- Failure is the mother of success. Fearlessness of failure engenders self-trust.
- Don’t blindly trust. Seeking reliable evidence is the most trustworthy action in dealing with any matter.
- Honoring promises with actions earns trust from others and leads to a prosperous life.
- Without self-trust or trust from others, nothing can be achieved.
- Forbearance is self-restraint over impulsive emotions.
- To restrain vicious impulsive emotions is forbearance; to restrain kind impulsive emotions is indifference.
- Forbearance is steadfast courage where soft overcomes hard and advancing by retreating.
- Not to forbear is to be arrogant, impetuous, reckless, and imprudent.
- It is not that we must forbear all our lives, but in each tiny moment of upset.
- Dealing with worldly matters impartially means being unswayed by self-interest, and guided by public interest.
- If everyone only cares about their self-interest, no one will be concerned about the welfare of society.
- If everyone only cares about their own ethics, no one will practice morality for the public good.
- Don’t meticulously measure your time, energy and strength as more precious than that of others’.
- With immense impartiality and a selfless heart to embrace the world, distance and contention with others will be diminished.
- To be as broad as a mountain or as vast as the sea, we must accept whatever comes to us.
- Giving help to the needy without any differentiation is a broad range of charity.
- Accepting worldly matters without distinguishing between good or bad makes one a broad-minded person.
- Non-acceptance resists and escalates. The fiercer the resistance, the more restrictive and troublesome the issue will become.
- Acceptance is neither cowardly nor passive, but creates a gap for analysis. Non-acceptance leads to reckless and rampant impulses.
Filial Piety –
- Filial Piety is the basis for all kindness.
- Filial piety from children reflects how their parents treat their own parents.
- Parental kindness and children’s filial piety demonstrate that these two polar sentiments must be kept in balance. If not, either the parent is unkind or children are unfilial.
- Learn to be grateful since young so that filial piety is well-seeded.
- Filial piety transcends materials and is based on respect and togetherness.
- To have a benevolent heart is to be compassionate towards living creatures and to cherish materials begins with self-love.
- To love any life as you love yourself is being compassionate to all creatures.
- A sincere and compassionate heart drowns when others are drowning and hungers when others are hungry.
- The benevolent person is calm, long-lived and honorable while the opposite is restless, short-lived, and dishonorable.
- Benevolence is capable of coalescence; hence no broken families, divided groups, and racial strife.
- Without mercifulness, one would find it difficult to nurture ethics.
- Mercifulness begins to manifest when someone deeply understands the sorrows of the world and counters it with kindness to help and aid.
- A lack of understanding can lead to resentment and, more seriously, to cruelty without mercy.
- Understanding others can soothe to our mind. However, we often spend our effort to complain that others do not understand us.
- Mercifulness is not necessarily a giving of material. Giving the world around us a sense of understanding is nonetheless a best gift in life.
- Being conscious means being neither deluded nor confused and free from vexations.
- Being unconscious of one’s delusions usually means one is lost in past and future thoughts.
- Not living in the now is to live with delusion. This is the start of anguish.
- A topsy-turvy day mixes the morning with evening while a topsy-turvy life means not living in the now.
- Past experiences guide each present step; Future goals are achieved with each present execution.
- Temperance is a self-determination that can build perseverance and help make dreams come true.
- Temperance is composed of self-dependence and self-responsibility that helps to restore the spirit of self-reliance.
- Self-reliance is not only for one’s body but also for one’s spirit.
- Without self-reliance, we are easily tempted and enslaved by desires.
- Temperance is like a traffic light that can reassure the safety for us to go forward or stop.
- Frugality is an ethic reminding people not to squander what they have.
- Frugality subdues arrogance and extravagance so as to prevent us from facing the possibility of material deficiencies in life.
- Frugality restrains sybaritic desires, so as to prevent us from indulgence.
- Materialism embellishes and enhances life, but it cannot guarantee peace and happiness.
- With an abundance mentality, our lives will be peaceful and we will be more content with the money, time and strength we have.
- Be genuine when dealing with worldly matters, not deceitful and treacherous.
- To be genuine, our mental fabrications of who we are on what we do is disingenuous.
- The more our egoistic mind feels insignificant, the easier it is for our genuine self to be revealed. Weakening our egoistic mind will strengthen our genuine self.
- Don’t be bragging, arrogant, conceited and complacent to supply the lifeline of one’s egotistical mind.
- When we are not hung up on our egoistic mind, our genuine and cordial manner are naturally revealed.
- Propriety, which is humility, sincerity and with proper manners no matter towards the senior or inferior, can bestow or restore peace in one’s mind.
- When our mind and body exhibit the proper propriety for any situation, it endows us with calmness and well-being.
- Propriety allows people to face profit and loss politely as well as to face victory or defeat with humility.
- One’s lack of propriety reveals a chaotic mind which gets carried away in good times and feels lost in hard times.
- Propriety is like an ethical door which can stop external treacheries, viciousness, and rudeness to safeguard one’s inner peace.
- A harmonious mind gives one the mental well-being to have a healthier life. Harmonious relationships can easily unite common forces to achieve goals.
- To attain harmony is not by telling others what to do in order to reconcile the superficial discord.
- The simplest and most direct way to harmonize with others is to reconcile our own heart first, and then harmonize with each momentary.
- Each one doing one’s duty without interfering with another’s freedom of choice can be regarded as the essence of harmony.
- Our peace of mind can also activate the power of peace in others around us, manifesting an auspicious and harmonious environment for all.