The Way for Young People
by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Section 3. The Way of a True Person
1. The Way of a Man of Character
1) Who Is a Man of Character?
Who is a man of character? Is it someone who lives for the sake of eating? Or is it someone who has artistic or poetic talents so that he can fully appreciate the beauty of the world and whisper to the mountains and fields and sing to the flowing water? Who is closer to a man of original value? The one who lives for food is close to an animal, and the one who can enjoy nature and who has rich poetic feelings is close to an angel. There are two kinds of people: one is animalistic and the other idealistic. (85-143)
Who is called a man of character? He is one who can stand in the central position of society. When there is a man of character in the village, he can play the central role in the material and spiritual lives of the village people. Only through this can he be an object of respect. It is the same in the nation. A nation is also centering on a man of character as the representative. The actual organization is formed as the people make mutual relationships centering on him. Likewise, the world also requires a man of character as the center.
A man of character is little different from ordinary people in terms of external appearance, but he is very different from them in his thoughts and spirit. Therefore, what determines a man of character is not the external aspect but the internal one. We should discuss character and personality based on the spiritual side of man. In order to expand the spiritual area, we have to understand the world of the mind. The mind has the agility to expand infinitely. From this, we can see that human desire originates from the mind and not from the body. The mind is in endless operation, generating infinite desires. Our personality is not confined to a certain society, country, or world. Furthermore, it proceeds toward the highest absolute standard, which can transcend even the past, the present, and the future. Considering the propensity of the mind to reach out to the absolute, we can see that the world of the mind is connected to infinity. (29-125)
When we call someone a man of character, we are not referring to his appearance, education, career, or position. We call him a man of character based on his living in a principled way. External flamboyance does not make a man of character. A man of character is the one who lives according to God's will, with an unchanging heart. (19-285)
The vertical and conscientious personality must be joined together with the horizontal and physical personality. The vertical personality should stand perpendicular to the horizontal line, and the physical personality should stand at a complete ninety-degree angle to the vertical line. Only then do all the angles always remain at ninety degrees to form a sphere. This way, if the central point is hit, then no matter how many lines you draw on it, all the forces affect the whole sphere, because the lines are drawn through the center. When this point is hit, then the whole will resonate. The whole will know. (176-138)
Does human personality have bones? Have you seen it -- the bone of personality? A personality means the shape of a person. There is a visible aspect; however, there is a hidden base that is responsible for the visible aspect. You should know that the visible structure exists because of that base. (177-315)
2) The Center of Personality is Heart
What do we most need? It is a glow of love. God's love is like the guide rope of the net. The love of God should set an anchor on me. What is the center of personality? It is not truth but heart. This is where we sing of spring all our life. (33-68)
What is personality? It is not words, but shimjung; shimjung is the eternal model and standard. This is why we proclaim the God of shimjung. This is God's final standard of personality. God is love. So I propose we explore the great way of heaven through the personality that springs from shimjung, which is the original source of love. In this, no one can surpass Reverend Moon. (84-123)
In the world of spiritual pursuits, what is the standard for a perfect personality? It is love. Personality is perfected through the infinite and absolute love of God. (33-79)
3) The Method for Perfecting the Personality
(You said that we should build our personality through mind and body unity. Please tell us what is the greatest problem in doing this.)
When you are in a high position, there is no way of uniting the mind and body, so you must be stepped on. God has trampled on me for forty years lest I get above myself. As you are downtrodden, that which wants to go up gets smashed and brought back to unity. Do you understand this? (Yes.) You should be cursed, trampled on, and mistreated, just like the vagrant Bamboo Hat Kim. Through this, you should discover the self that can take all these tribulations gratefully.
Common people think that the mind and body can be united when they are living comfortably in a good place, but that is the way to hell. Jesus said that the one who seeks to lose his life, will gain it. It is the opposite.
Through the logic of irony, the one who tries to live will die. Jesus said that your family members are enemies and that you should love him more than anyone else. This means that you should go into the most opposite place in the world. (144-257)
4) The Lifestyle of a Man of Character
People change their minds day and night because they do not have an absolute center. We cannot call them men of character. A man of character is the one who tries to keep his promise all his life and has a high level of righteousness. You should make no excuses after things are decided. You should say that what you have promised never changes, even if the law of the universe changes. (23-100)
A man of character keeps his promises. If I say that you forced the promise I made upon me, and therefore I don't have to keep it, then I am not a man of character. Law is a set of promises made on a public standard. Thus, all the people who live within its jurisdiction should keep it. If someone cannot keep it, then he should be punished by public regulation. This is the responsibility of the keepers of the law. No matter who initiated it, a promise must be kept. You will be a loser if you do not keep your promise. In making a promise, everyone has to come to an accord based on the common standard. (31-13)
God's love is the original source of the universe and it embraces the world. If such love had reached each and every person, would there not be a realm where there is love everywhere, whether we go up or fall down? Where would the value of personality lie then? It would not lie in eloquence or good looks. Looked at from any angle, a man of character has no faults. Everything that is related to him spreads fragrance. Shouldn't it be like that? When you see things with a shimjung understanding that everything God created is a branch of God, then everything becomes your friend. (33-89)
2. The Way of the Saint
1) The Unification Church Advocates Being a Saint
What is the Unification Church trying to do? It is not just trying to make great men, but saints. A great man has enemies; a saint does not. A great man loves only his nation, whereas a saint loves the whole of humankind. A great man cannot go to God when He accuses him of not loving the whole of humankind, but a saint can go directly to God. What is the Unification Church trying to do? Are we trying to create great men or saints? (Saints.) (38-263)
2) The Teachings of the Saints
Who is a saint (Sung In)? The word sung is a combination of car, mouth, and king. So a saint is a king of the ear and of the mouth. (147-282)
What kind of person is a saint? A saint is someone who lives for the sake of all people, nature, and even the whole universe, working hard eternally, day and night. Is there any objection to this? No one can deny this definition. (133-18)
What is the standard of a saint? What determines sainthood is the heart to give oneself even in pieces for the sake of something greater: the world, heaven and earth, God, and all things. (20-182)
A saint is not national but global. Furthermore, he is global not just centering on human beings but on God. Without God, no one can be a saint. (38-262)
So far, the way of the saint has been the spiritual origin of the world culture, which has been developing throughout history. Culture has always developed based on religion. (39-257)
What do you have to do in order to be a world-renowned figure? You cannot just live by human ethics; nor can you just live centering on human beings. Human beings cannot go beyond the level of their county. Heaven alone can go beyond the level of the country. Without a cosmic philosophy, you cannot go beyond your country. You should know this. For this reason, everyone who has made it to the list of saints is a religious leader. (38-260)
Saints have introduced God. Did those who joined the ranks of saints worship God or not? Is there anyone who became a saint without God? Saints not only taught human ethics; they also taught the heavenly way. (33-291, 39-316)
What did the saints teach? Necessarily, they taught about God. (34-196)
Saints mainly taught about heaven. They taught about the will of heaven rather than human norms. In other words, they showed the path for human beings based on the heavenly will. The teachings of those who said we should live according to the heavenly will have become global teachings. The saints achieved sainthood by becoming global and cosmic people, respected by all humanity. (39-257)
Saints should teach true life, true character, and then true love. Also, they should teach the true character of God. (103-15)
3) Today's View Toward Saintly Teachings
Do you all like religion? Do you like saints? (Yes.) You like saints, but you don't like their foundations. Saints became saints through a religious path, right? But ordinary people do not like religion, although they see the connection. This is a contradiction.
There are many hoodlums in college who still consider themselves the elite. I may offend you, but I want to attack you.
Listen up, although you may be hurt by the attack. If we study history, we see that many constitutions are created based on the way of saints. The same applies to the Korean constitution. It was created by summarizing the teachings of the saints, based on ethics. Its essence comes from saintly teachings. World ideas are formed based on this.
Thus, the philosophy of a saint comes closer and closer to the mainstream of history.
People who are already within the teachings of the saints still dislike religion. Are pastors and monks popular these days? Do you like them or not? (We do not like them.) Then do you like Reverend Moon of the Unification Church? (We like him.) But didn't you just say that you dislike this kind of person? We have to wait and see. You cannot say immediately that you like me. There is a saying that the human mind changes morning and evening, whereas the colors of the mountain are the same throughout the ages. I don't want to trust you now, however much you tell me you love me. Isn't this strange and curious? If human beings like the ways of saints and yet dislike what they have established, human beings are in trouble. (50-108)
4) The Difference Between a Great Man and a Saint
There are many great people in the world. Korea also has many great people. Who are they? They are people like Admiral Lee. He is admired as a hero who can awaken the national spirit in Koreans. Yet his influence is limited to Korea. How do the Japanese perceive him? (As an enemy) When he died, the Japanese people must have been glad, right? A great man cannot go beyond national boundaries. Within the boundaries of a nation, there can be a great man, but no saint.
What is the difference between a great man and a saint? When you offer your life for the sake of your country, you will receive the honor of a patriot and a great man, but not the honor of a saint. Who is a saint? He transcends national boundaries. He does not live for his own nation or tribe but for the whole of humankind. He offers his life for the whole of humanity, transcending nation, religion, and race, and he walks the path of death in a world-level relationship to humankind. (38-350)
5) The Four Great Saints
Through the fall, the human ancestors lost the earth, the human self, and God. So what is it that remains to the end? It is a battle to find God. The four great saints of the world struggled to find God. Who are the four saints? (Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Socrates.) Who is the next? (Mohammed.) Some count Mohammed instead of Socrates, right? When we have Socrates, it becomes five saints. But the question is who is counted as a part of the four saints. Did Socrates teach about God? (No) When it comes to the question of life and death, knowledge has no value. Knowledge has no power to resolve the problem of life and death. So those who claim to know the truth based on knowledge cannot belong to the ranks of saints.
Confucius vaguely said that heaven rewards the one who practices goodness, and the one who does not practice goodness will be punished by heaven. The idea of heaven is too vague. There is nothing concrete about God. He taught about Heaven, but in a too ambiguous way, so Confucianism is a halfway religion. It is not active enough.
Buddhism taught about Heaven, but its content is too difficult and esoteric because it does not understand the matter clearly. It confuses God and the law. It says that the law is God, and God is the law. But this is not the case.
Buddhism is a religion of logic. If it goes deep, it ends up denying the existence of God. It cannot make any relationship with human beings because it is too primitive.
Islam is a synthesis of religions. While following the Old Testament, it also upholds the Koran. The Koran contains Biblical elements. This is an archangelic religion. For this reason, Islam may seem sympathetic to communism. This religion will serve the prophetic mission of setting fire to the changing world. Of course, it has a certain content, but it is borrowed from the Old Testament. Borrowing from other religions does not bring recognition.
What did Jesus bring forward? You may say that I like Jesus because I happen to follow Christianity. But I did not believe in or like Jesus from the beginning. I searched to find the principle of the universe and the saint who had the right content. If Christianity is a world-level religion, God will assign to Christians the mission of the Last Days to dominate the whole world. We can see this clearly from the fact that Christianity is dominating the democratic world today.
Then what did Jesus teach? Jesus taught concretely. He taught that God is the Father. This is excellent. This is the teaching that can connect human affection to heavenly love and heavenly decree. Jesus is the only one who taught like this in the whole of human history. Next, Jesus said, "I am the bridegroom, and you are the brides." That means that his objects all become his brides. There is no relationship that is more intimate than that of husband and wife. Also, Jesus said, "You are brothers and sisters." Is there any relationship closer than this? You should know this. He was talking about a family that is based on God's will and a family based on human will. This is a conclusion that brings everything into consideration. This is taught only in Christianity.
6) The Saint of Saints
Shall I say one more word? Who is the saint of saints? The heavenly way includes heavenly affection and the heavenly decree. Also, there are human ethics and human affections. Human affection and ethics and heavenly affection and heavenly decree should become one through human beings. Only then will God rejoice, and only when God rejoices can human beings rejoice. In other words, human happiness depends on God's happiness. Parents must be happy in order for their children to be happy. Right? Just as parents must be happy in order for the household to be at peace, God must be happy in order for humankind to be happy. Since the day of God's joy has not arrived, however, joy has not come to the human world yet.
Then who is the saint of saints? God and man should make a relationship of parent and child at a place where human affection and heavenly affection, and human norms and heavenly decrees become one. The saint of saints is the one who has left behind a heartistic teaching such as this. Such a person will be the highest of all the saints.
Isn't it so? This is a clear theory and result. (39-4 1
What kind of person is the saint of saints? A saint is the one who has lived for the sake of God. Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus all recognized God. They lived with God as the center of their life. They also lived for mankind, just as they loved God. A saint is the one who lives for the sake of humankind and God. Is that right? (Right.) Why did Jesus pray for his enemies on the cross? Because God loved them, Jesus had to love them, even though they were enemies. In order to practice this love, he loved them even at the time of his death. This is why he is the highest saint. (95-190)
7) A Saint Is Ill Treated in His Lifetime
Saints taught the true way for people to live. Although they showed the world to come to the people of their time, the people did not understand them. Why? It is because there was too big a gap. So the rulers of their time persecuted, expelled, and murdered them. But the saints did not harm their countries. Although they wanted to rescue their countries from chaos and lead them to hope, people did not understand that and drove them out. But later on, the truths of their teachings were accepted because it shows the way for all people. Through this, world, wide cultural realms have been formed. (39-256)
What kind of person is a saint? He is an international figure rather than a national figure. There is no saint who did not receive persecution in his own country. Buddha was born as a prince, and yet he threw away this position in order to find the truth. Buddhism started in India, and yet there have not been many Buddhists in India. There is no saint who was treated as a saint in his own country. No country has been able to recognize and serve a saint. Nations always persecuted them instead. (39-255)
Although saints are ill treated during their lifetime, their merits are elevated after their deaths because of indemnity, and they are highly respected. Evil always strikes first and loses, and goodness gets hit fist and gains. (140-263)
8) Saints Are Objects of Reverence
Why should posterity revere the saints? It is because all the stories of the struggle for goodness are concentrated in their hearts. In order to achieve a purpose of goodness, we should make efforts through their foundations. Otherwise, we cannot connect with the path leading to the purpose. Although they are fallen descendants, many people cherish the saints and seek to follow in their footsteps, for the human heart is connected to the heavenly heart. This is a natural pursuit of original value. (17-268)
Who will remain in history? People who died for the sake of an individual cannot be revered by people and remembered in history.
The ones who died for a family will be revered by many individuals. The ones who died for their nation through a religion, however, will be revered by all the families. Furthermore, the ones who died for the sake of the world in the name of religion will be revered by the nations who pursue this religion. (27-173)
No saint has been welcomed in his historical age. Only a hundred or thousand years after their death, when his bones have changed into ashes, does he become an historic object of reverence. That has been the path of the saints so far. (127-33)
3. The Way of Holy Sons and Daughters
1) The Meaning of Holy Sons and Daughters
There are saints in history. Who are the saints? They are all founders of religions. There are people at an even higher level than that of a saint, however. The Unification Church calls them holy sons and daughters of God. The Christian churches also talk about holy sons and daughters.
Then who are the holy sons and daughters? Saints themselves do not clearly comprehend God. They do not understand in detail that God is a personality who represents the ideal of daily living. Who, then, are the holy sons and daughters? God is the head of all sovereigns and the center of the whole. Wherever He is, there is the law of the kingdom and the law of the palace. Palace law has to be obeyed. Without it, one cannot live as a prince in the palace with the king. Holy sons and daughters are the ones who desire to live with the king eternally, while keeping the law and then transcending it. The king cannot live without the son; nor can the son live without the king, his father. They want to live together eternally. Such a person is called a holy son or daughter. (148,259)
Do you know what it means to be holy sons and daughters? They are different from saints. There are four great saints, but it is much more difficult to be holy sons and daughters. They are the ones who can keep the law of the heavenly palace. God is the king who lives in the heavenly palace. In order to be His son, you must know palace law. What do you want to know? Do you want to know the way of being heavenly children, holy sons and daughters, patriots, or filial children? (Heavenly children) You are quite greedy! (Laughter)
What does it mean to say that Jesus is the only begotten son? He is the only son because he stands as a representative whom God cannot help loving when it comes to handling the law of love, which is most precious to God. Holy sons and daughters are the ones who know how to keep not only human laws but also the laws of the heavenly palace. The way of patriots directly connects to the way of filial children; the way of saints directly connects to the way of patriots; the way of holy sons and daughters directly connects to the way of saints. The essence flows on a perpendicular line. It is the only one. (175-214)
2) The Words "Holy Sons and Daughters" are Words of Great Blessing
A saint is a holy person who can stand before God. From among saints holy sons and daughters must come. There have to be ones who can be people of God's kingdom, and among those, there have to be ones who can be God's children. Holy sons and daughters are above saints. This historical background cannot be understood without knowing the spiritual world and God's providence. No matter how much knowledge one may have, he cannot reach his destiny without understanding God's providence. In following the road of love, what comes after being a saint? Saints are God's people, who can go to God, but when such people become numerous, holy sons and daughters should emerge. The words "holy sons and daughters, which means that I am God's child, are words of great blessing in the history of the fallen world. They can be considered gospel. (136-206)
Thus, there are filial children, patriots, and saints. What is next? Just because one is a saint, it does not mean that he will become a holy son. We should become holy sons and daughters. However intensely a saint loves people, he has to understand the law of the heavenly palace in order to become a holy son or daughter. He should follow the palace law and find another law that can keep rhythm with it.
3) Becoming Holy Sons and Daughters
Saints are on a global level, although patriots cannot go beyond national boundaries. The saints have a loving heart, such that they desire for the world to become better and are willing to take responsibility for all the bad things of the world; with this heart, they sacrifice themselves throughout their entire lives. Thoughts of filial children, patriots, and saints are all centered on the world and on the earth,
When you are centered on God, who is the center of the universe, then you will want to embrace heaven and earth with love, and desire that all the beings in the universe become eligible to receive God's love.
Since I love God from this position, I transcend history and worry about the spiritual world. If someone can transcend time and space and worry about affairs of the spiritual world, of the earth, and of God with love, he would be the kind of person God desires. Our Unification Church gives the name holy sons and daughters to this kind of person.
Then what do you want to become? Filial children, patriots, or saints? (Saints.) All kinds of people want to be saints. Those who want to become holy sons and daughters, raise your hands. Is this easy or difficult? (Difficult) What do you call those who love and serve parents at home? (Filial children) How about those who love the country? (Patriots) How about those who love the world? (Saints) What is it that I am teaching? It is to become holy sons and daughters who love God, the world, and the universe. Which do you want to become? (Holy sons and daughters) Then you should have love that is like God's. (129-99)
In becoming holy sons and daughters, what do we have to know first? Who should be the master? It is God. So pray for God. You should act according to God's desire and not your own. You should know that God is the master. Next, what is the purpose? The purpose is God's thought; we should act according to God's thought. This is God's will. We should live according to God's will and God's thought. This is the purpose. Do you understand? There should be the master and purpose. This is important. (161-141)
4. The Way to Become a Child of Filial Piety
1) What is a Child of Filial Piety?
What is a child of filial piety? He is the one who always thinks about what the parents like and tries to carry it out. He longs for the realm of shimjung where all his five senses operate with his parents as the center. He wants to get rid of bad things for the sake of his parents, keeping only good things, making them better. (161-132)
2) The Reason Filial Piety Is Important
The world cherishes filial piety. Filial piety is the formation stage, do you understand? What is a child of filial piety? He should be able to serve his parents and grandparents. He should go through three generations. Next, what is a patriot? It is the same. A patriot serves the sovereign as parents and serves God as grandparents. (96-31)
It is edifying to say that we should become filial sons and daughters. We commonly hear that there is a generation gap between parents and children, but is there a gap between two generations with respect to love! Why are you being told to practice filial piety? This means participating in your parents' path of love. The heavenly decree follows your parents' true path of love. Since this path is not just trodden by your parents but is connected to the invisible heavenly decree, being one with the parents means inheriting the shimjung of both aspects; that is, the vertical history of the heavenly decree and the horizontal history. This is the meaning of filial piety. But you have not realized this so far. Nowadays, people think, "What is the use of being loyal to parent?" This is how they think in America. They say, "When our parents gave birth to us, was it for our own sake?" But they do not know the principle. In any history, the vertical standard must be erected first in order for the horizontal standard to be established. When you construct a building, you have to arrange the vertical structures first. Unless the horizontal structures are put together after the vertical, this building will fall down. Likewise, the fact that human beings exist already means that they are aligned to the vertical standard. (136-203)
3) How Do We Become Children of Filial Piety?
We should be in line with the direction of our parents' hearts. What is the secret of being children of filial piety? The internal and external standards must agree. (12-174)
A child of filial piety is valuable because he serves his parents with an unchanging love, from the time of childhood to the time of old age. Such a person is called a child of filial piety. (168-163)
In order to be a child of filial piety, you should always be in line with the direction of your parents' hearts. The one who follows the path of filial piety never acts apart from his parents. He follows his parents everywhere, whether to the East or to the West. When the parents suddenly want to turn back, he should turn back without dissent.
When they tell him to go and turn back ten times, he should do so and still follow them. If he protests, "What kind of parents are you, changing your minds like crazy? Father and mother, I don't like this," then he cannot keep the way of filial piety all the way to the end. When parents do crazy actions, the child should also do the same. He should be able to act crazy when the parents order him to. Acting crazy is undesirable, but this is done under the parents' knowledge.
Then why do parents perform crazy actions? It is because that is the only way to pick the best child of filial piety from among many. When there are one hundred loyal children, parents will act crazy in order to find the best of them. They will turn around one hundred times and change their minds one hundred times. They may change around even one thousand times. But if a child takes this capriciousness as truthful and absolutely obeys the parents with his life, he can be the king among children of filial piety. In other words, he can rule over the children of filial piety. Don't you think so? Then he should be able to do crazy things as his destined mission. If he says, "Oh, this does not fit me, so I don't know," then the way of filial piety is blocked for him. So there must be the way of filial piety on a global level that can break through the most challenging obstacle. Then what kind of person is God? He is the parent of mankind, the king of kings, and the center of everything. In order to become His child, a loyal child in a family should become one on a global level. Isn't it so? (62-32)
4) We Should Be Able to Experience Our Parents' Shimjung and Situation
We should follow the way of children of filial piety. If God is serious about the world situation, is there someone who can experience this heart and struggle to become God's child, forgetting himself and forgetting sleep with even more seriousness? This is what the question finally comes down to. (62-35)
What is a child of filial piety? He is the one who takes responsibility for the parents' sorrow and goes to difficult places in order to resolve their sorrow, thereby bringing joy to the parents. When the parents work ten hours, the child works fifteen. Then the parents will feel joy that corresponds to the five. A filial son is one who considers how to supplement what is missing. He serves the parents. (24-261)
Isn't this the case in the village? When you receive an award for filial piety, is it because of your doctorate degree? Is that a part of the condition of filial piety? No, it is not. The question is how much you have loved your parents with all of your mind and body. When you absolutely serve your parents day and night with an unchanging heart, as if you were serving the country and God, then you will be called a child of filial piety. (147-232)
5) We Should Be Able to Bear Our Parents' Burdens
If the parents want to do ten different things, a child of filial piety should take responsibility for the most important of those and carry it out. If there are ten sons, who is the most loyal? The one who takes over the most difficult job on his own and shows love for the parents will be most remembered by the parents. Thus, it is clear that the one who bears the duty of filial piety through the most difficult path rather than the one who tries to go the easy way will truly realize filial piety. (62-23)
When a child understands his parents' sorrow deeply, he will sincerely wish for the resolution of their sorrow, going beyond his environment of living. If someone worries about the parents' sorrow more than his own, then he can be called a loyal child. But if someone expects his parents to worry about his troubles while the parents have their own suffering, then he is still not united with his parents.
According to the principle of filial piety, the one who forgets about the parents' situation cannot make a relationship with the parent at a crucial moment. If a child insists that his sorrow be recognized and resolved, putting aside the sorrow of his parents, he will be a treacherous son.
This is what we experience in our daily life. What is the value of a child of filial piety? Filial piety starts when a child worries about his parents' difficulties more than his own, adding theirs to his own, and accepts this as a matter of course. On the other hand, a breach occurs in the relationship when the child overlooks his parents' difficulties. The way of filial impiety starts there. When you regard your brother's difficulties as less important than your own, the brotherhood relationship becomes distant. (62-178)
6) The Words "Child of Filial Piety" Are Accompanied by Misery
The way of the child of true filial piety is not smooth. Filial piety and patriotism are in fact words of misery. Filial piety cannot be practiced with a self-centered attitude. Where do you have to be in order to become a child of filial piety? You have to stand on the road of death and greatest tribulation. (62-37)
Where is the root of filial piety established? It is established in a most miserable place. A miserable place is a place of death. The root is established in the most miserable, dying place. Is this right or wrong? Suppose that there is a child of filial piety. Children of filial piety must exist in each age. Among them, who can be chosen as the best? It is better to practice filial piety at a young age rather than at an old age. There are great varieties among children of filial piety: they are rich, poor, some are menial laborers, beggars, and so on.
A living person cannot be a true child of filial piety. Why? It is because so many people have died for filial piety. When someone who is still alive receives a prize for filial piety, those children of filial piety who offered their lives will accuse him. Thus, a child of true filial piety appears after death. Among those who have died, some died practicing filial piety. Some might have died on the way to getting medicine for their parents. When they went to get medicine, some brought their own money, and some borrowed money. The more difficult it was, the greater the value, right? As for those who died on the way to getting medicine, if one had his own money and the other had worked for a few months in order to get the money, who will be elevated as the model child of filial piety? (The latter.) It is the latter, right? Everyone knows that. Restoration is possible because you know that. The more complicated, difficult, and miserable it is, the better it turns out to be.
Now, which is better: dying on the way to getting medicine or dying after offering the medicine to one's parents? It is better to die after offering it. From this, we can see that the more difficult it is the higher the rank of the child of filial piety. There is no objection here, is there? (49-280)
In a family, a child of filial piety is in a miserable situation. He cannot eat as much as he wants, for instance. When there is delicious food, he must hold on to it and shed tears, thinking, "My parents are close to eighty years old. How much longer will they live? How much more can they eat? The remaining days of their lives are only a fraction of mine." With such a heart, you should diligently serve your parents.
A child of filial piety is someone who cries, unable to eat. When you start crying in the middle of eating, people will call you crazy. You will really look like a crazy man in some ways. They will think, "If he likes the food, why doesn't he eat it? Why is he acting like that? How miserable it is!" But a filial son cannot live as he likes.
When a filial son sees good scenery, he wishes to share it with his parents. If a good season comes, he also thinks about his parents. When this longing is expressed in tears, that seems miserable. Tears themselves are painful, and yet this is not a place of unhappiness. Isn't it so? A life of tears is not a bad life.
If there is a group of people who cannot eat good food or wear nice clothes because of national and public things, although they look miserable, there are eternal tears of consolation for them. Eternal songs of glory surround them. Furthermore, the eternal kingdom of hope is prepared for them. Then how can we say that they are miserable? Although they look miserable, they are standing in a place of glory with the right to victory. (51-326)
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