Saturday, October 16, 2010

Book - Practicing The Golden Mean of Confucianism


Recently, a friend said to me: “You’re doing very well these days!” Dim lah!  Don’t get too proud wo!” When I heard this, I smiled inwardly.  For sure, this friend didn’t know me all that well.

I have been in the industry for more than a decade; the period neither long nor short; the experience itself is very personal, impossible to articulate in a few words.  Every artiste’s success or failure has its own reasons. Furthermore, how many (of those reasons) were within their control? Artistes are basically passive. Indeed, how many artistes can claim their success was solely due to their own efforts?  Opportunities are given to them by others.  To succeed or fail is another matter.  But for sure, one should always be prepared and ready when opportunity knocks.

I have always believed that success happens not only due to a person’s effort but also due to every associated factor, no matter how minor; including all the people, tasks, things and time, all co-operating together; when heaven, earth, time and fortune are aligned, only then success will take place.  

Both feet on the ground; this being one of my principles. The vicissitudes of success or failure notwithstanding, the knees will not fold, and the feet will not leave the ground. Come stormy weather or bright sunshine, the feet still remain firmly planted on the ground. This sense of being genuinely grounded is what I need.

Happiness and sadness to me will never be too excessive.  I will not be extremely happy nor be extremely sad, only wish to keep my equanimity.  

Perhaps you will say I am being too discipline.  I find contentment in it.  If things are felt too extremely then it will provoke an equally if not more extreme opposite repercussion.

My friends, don’t worry about me.  The vagaries of human affairs are unpredictable.  Today, heart wrenching grief; tomorrow, teary happiness. Since there is no foretelling of things to come, might as well be down-to-earth, look to the future, live for the present, and be ready to receive tomorrow.

Translator’s note: The Golden Mean of Confucianism advocates moderation, and avoidance of excessiveness and deficiencies so as to achieve a balanced and harmonious life.

Source: 图文谬事 pp 92-93

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