(Letter) Confucius-Meng Zi Teaching
舍生而取 義is a very famous phrase written by Meng Zi about 2000 years ago,is the crown jewel of Confucius-Meng Zi teaching.義 has no equivalent English word,similar word is 仁. In the west,society is bound by the Ten Commandments,the fear of being burned eternally in hell,or enjoy eternally in heaven,is enough to made its citizens behave.On the other hand,Confucius-Meng Zi do not promise heaven to come,nor threathen its citizens with hell fire.Instead,citizens,and their rulers,all need to understand 仁義, and practise it,then heaven can be achieved on earth.
仁義 is the ultmost important factor,the foundation of Chinese,or Asian,society.If you check on dictionary,the translation is benevolence and righteousness,but the real meaning is much more than that.From a westerner’s point of view,the best,and also the easiest way to both understand and appreciate its value is through watching Chinese Kung Fu movies.Bruce Lee’s movies is a very good example.Bruce Lee,through his movies,the best of Chinese qualities,to be good,to be strong,to dare to punish evil and darkness using force,use action,not word,all these qualities been shown to the world,and loved by the world.Next come Jet Lee,his many movies tell the story of a real life Kung Fu legend Wong Fei Hung,who was both a kung fu master and a traditional medicine man.Wong Fei Hung was,and still is, deeply loved by Asians all over the world,because he hated evil and darkness,and always try to stop evil using kung fu.
舍生而取義 means to be rightous,to fight evil and darkness,one is prepared to give up one’s life.During the Japen-invade-China war,many Chinese soldiers,and ordinary citizens,fought the invaders to the end of life.Millions and millions of Chinese lost their life,defending the motherland.These national heros will be remembered by generations of Chinese to come.
舍生而取義 does not advocate retreat,nor protray weakness,nor meek.It calls for revolt,to fight,to smash unjustic and evil.I belive 仁義 will soon prevail, and shines among Chinese,the land of Confucius-Meng Zi.
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