|Li Bai (李白 701-762 in the Tang Dynasty)|
- Blind obedience, see the parents at fault rather than persuade them away from being wrong or unjust.
- When his family is poor, the parents are old and he does not even try to get an official position to support his parents. (In old China, studying hard to pass the official exams to become an official was the highest class, the second class the farmer, the lowest class the merchants and businessmen because they make a living from all the other people's work, banned to take a exams to become an official). After the Industrial Revolution and the two World Wars, 3% of the population remained as farmers in Europe and US. China lost 20% farmers (total population1.4 billion)in the last 30 years, China's Urban Billion. Business and greed took over the World, life is at risk, and our mother Earth is at risk.
- Not getting married and having children, no more descendants to continue the family name and to pray in front of the family altar, considered as the biggest of the three.
Most people have become the slaves of business and greed. "Money talks" and money controls. Business is business, not personal, just take care of business as usual. "Confidential Information..." Sons and daughters are sent to fight and protect the interests of the owners in the world. Throughout ancient Chinese history, farmers (80%) always decided the fate of the Chinese emperors. Chinese have always had their own way to remember who they liked to remember. My mother's Chu was the biggest and strongest of the seven states; you would think the kings would be remembered, but instead, the loser Qu Yuan (屈原343–278 BCE) was remembered and celebrated every year to this day.
Since the mid-20th century, farming has been industrialized. Crops are watered by irrigation systems and livestock are indoors to remove the uncertainty of weather. Production processes were standardized, making fields and feedlots work like “biological assembly lines.” Today, agricultural markets are managed by a handful of large agribusiness corporations. We no longer have capitalism in America; we have “corporatism.” Corporations are not people, and so they have no ethics or morals. Commercial fertilizers and pesticides are problematic for environmental degradation and food safety. The widespread release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) threatens the genetic integrity of the natural ecosystem. Americans once believed that we had the best quality, safest, most secure food supply in the world. Industry’s preoccupation with making foods that “taste good” with fats and sugar, and that “look good” by being artificially shaped, colored, or ripened, leaves out good nutrition and health. Widespread use of agrichemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and artificial food additives are problems for food safety.
Since the Industrial Revolution and capitalism took over the world, greed and mass production became a way of life. We forgot that we are part of nature, not above nature. We change how the crops grow and how the farm animals are raised for maximum profit, forgetting we are what we eat. We eat fat and weak chicken fast grown in just a few months, and we become fat and weak. Life needs care, love, and freedom. Almost everything we eat has a life of its own; animals usually kill only when they are hungry and they have to work hard to get it.
Food is the most important factor for all survival after fresh air and water. China had 80% of the people as small family farmers, and farming was the most important throughout Chinese history. China had a very strong tradition of putting agriculture first. Now, they are following Europe and America with only about 3% of the population as farmers. Food production became a mass-cloning operation for maximum industrial production. Fast food took over the world. Monoculture crops took over natural diversity because profit rules. We bred crops in which no pest was interested, or lethal to pests as if we are different than pests. You cheat the food and the food cheats you in return. More and more people became weak and fat; more and more people became allergic to food. About 3 million children in the U.S. have food allergies; peanut allergies doubled in children over a five-year period (1997-2002). Since the late 1990s there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of children reporting food allergies and a 69 percent rise in those reporting eczema and other skin allergies. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to limit serving sizes for sugary drinks. He said "It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives." The state's Supreme Court judge did not allow any change on serving sizes. 42% of US adults at least age 20 are projected to be obese by 2030, i.e., a body mass index of at least 30. Only 15% of US adults were obese in 1980 (source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine). CVS wants the personal information on each of their employee's weight, body fat, glucose levels, and other vital statistics, or their employee would pay $600/year fine. More than 8.8 million US workers now collect disability benefits, a six-fold jump since 1970 that cost the government $135 billion last year. See the website for Global Cancer Incidence where the US annual cancer cases are 300/100,000 and China 181/100,000. The GDP in US is $46,760 per capita and China is $3,414 per capita, while Health expenditure for the US is $7720 per capita and China is $157 per capita. I am surrounded by cancer, my neighbor across the street, the neighbor behind me and on both sides -- all have family members fighting cancer or died from cancer. I am sad for the ones who are about my age or younger, especially with children.
From 1973 to 2012, lung cancer cases in the province, Hebei,China’s Steel Country soared 306 percent, well above the national average, and accounted for almost a quarter of all cancer deaths, according to figures from the Tumor Hospital of Hebei Province. By 2012, the death rate from lung cancer in the province, which has 74 million people, or almost twice the population of California, was 35.22 per 100,000 people.
For a shiny diamond or a lump of gold, we didn’t mind turning a huge mountain upside down. For our endless need of water, we used up most fresh clean water on the earth. For our endless desire for new things and comfort, we create new things everyday. We created so many things that our bodies had a hard time to recognize and adapt. We trashed so much that we ran out of dumping ground.
We change our surroundings so much that our bodies and minds can not keep up. We used to have more visible dirt but that was part of the natural process, such as soil from rocks, plants, and animal origins. Our body was made to process most of it. Now we create so much human-made material from industrial to household goods and altered the world we live in. Our body genes simply go crazy try to adapt, which may be the reason we have more cancer and other physiological imbalances. Our poor body simply tries to adapt to every change in the world.
People build large homes with constant temperature and humidity regulation. We drive in air-conditioned cars to air-conditioned shopping malls and so on. Wherever we go or stay, we spray, clean and clean, to make sure there are no germs, bugs, and so on. We do not realize that we are actually taking ourselves out of the natural world originally created for us. We create a whole New World just for our own needs and for what we think we need. We worked very hard to create a differing, distant route from the rest of the living things. We have already changed much of the gene pool leading us into the deep unknown and there seems to be no return. I just hope that we are prudent and wise in our creations even though so far it seems that everything we have created cannot pass the test of time; it keeps going astray or coming back to haunt us later.
Other life forms are destroyed to satisfy our comfort. By building large houses, shopping malls, and indoor stadiums, etc., natural ecosystems have vanished and have been replaced by big concrete structures nearly entirely sealing the outside away by power, light, temperature, humidity, artificial fibers, and chemicals. We gradually set up our own standard of acceptance and rejection. We can’t even stand our own body odors, although it is crucial for animals. We have to be covered with all kinds of deodorizers and perfume. That is maybe one reason why humans have become so confused about their sex. Even babies have a whole line of products to eliminate their odors. In a word, we are not happy with who we are and we want to change ourselves from head to toe. We do not care about the cost, as long as we get whatever we want. Humans wanted to be “god.”
We should recall our great-great grandparents sweating more for a lot of things. They were more in control of their own bodies and minds. They got paid for their work, their sweat. Now, it costs us to work out and sweat whether you go to a health club or buy a treadmill or drive somewhere for a walk or run. We have machinery for all kinds of labor. We have computers to do all kinds of thinking for us especially after introducing “artificial intelligence.” Computers could do the job faster and better for us, jobs that would be impossible for us to do. We only needed to sit on the top, figuring out how to control them. So, we have a group of people working day and night to improve this machine to replace themselves. The groups of people already replaced by a machine sit around depressed, or desperately trying to find some way to feel worth living. It has become a vicious cycle that no one could control.
To solve the problems that we created, there are more antidepressant drugs. A whole institution of scientists either re-educate children or re-educate the losers. Every now and then, some madness came out of nowhere and the madmen basically wanted to destroy the whole world. Revenge has become a classic term because now we have random terrorist acts around and people die for random reasons.
The most dangerous things are global pursuits of the same thing. Freedom is not free; nothing is free, someone has to pay. We are part of nature, not above it and we are connected with everything around us. Everything we do will affect others (not just another human but everything around us). Everything would still evolve forward or backward, up or down with or without us. Knowing our limits, we could coexist with nature better.
The ancient phrase 修身齐家治国平天下(207BC-25AD) by Dai Shen (戴圣) in today’s Henan (河南省商丘市) means the following: cultivating personal virtues, manage one's own home and family well, manage the country, and let justice prevail in the world. Although this is a very old wish, modern technology can help if we use it correctly. Remember our ancestors’ wishes. Let the dragon spirits pass on and make the families proud (长龙传家远, 大振家声). Someone said, "He who cares nothing about his ancestors will rarely achieve anything worthy of being remembered by his descendants."
- The father cherishes affectionate love of the son; the son cherishes filial piety to the father.
- The ruler cherishes benevolence to the people; the minister cherishes loyalty to the ruler and the country.
- The elder brother cherishes amiability with the younger brother; the younger brother cherishes respect of the elder brother.
- The husband cherishes harmonious relationship with the wife; the wife cherishes tenderness toward the husband.
- In serving the teacher, propriety should be emphasized; in making friends with others, trust should prevail.
- When meeting an elderly person, pay him respect; when seeing a child, give him love.
- Respect a person of virtue even though he is younger than you are, and stay away from a person good-for-nothing even though he is older than you are.
- Be careful not to talk about other people’s shortcomings or show off your superiority.
- Reconcile with your enemies through the practice of justice, and return others’ grumbles against you with sincerity.
- Feel at home and compose yourself wherever or in whatever circumstances you are.
- Tolerate others’ small faults and give reasonable advice to those who have made big mistakes.
- Do not overlook any good deeds or commit any evils however small they are.
- Try to help a person mend his mistake instead of publicizing it and always praise a person who has done a good deed.
- Put aside personal enmities when getting along with people and do not apply private rules when dealing with family affairs.
- Do not make gains at others' expense or grudge others’ abilities and successes.
- Do not get angry and turn irrational with those unreasonable persons.
- Do not transgress against nature and harm any living things.
- Do not accept any unrightful wealth; always follow the path of justice.
- Do not ignore school learning or be ignorant of propriety and justice.
- Educate your children and show sympathy for your boy servants.
- Respect the learned and the virtuous, and help those in difficulties.
- These are principles that all human beings must follow as a way of conforming to the values of propriety.
- By following these principles, you are fulfilling your duties as prescribed by Heaven.
- If you follow these principles, Heaven will reciprocate your effort.
- Like clothes and foods and drinks to our body, they are essential to our daily life and therefore must be taken seriously!”
- Get up early in the morning and clean inside and outside. Check all the doors before you go to sleep at night.
- Think about every meal before you eat and every piece of clothing before you dress. They were not obtained easily.
- Prepare everything first; repair the house before the rains. Do not wait until you are thirsty to dig the well.
- Do not waste; saving is a must. Do not bring up the past while dining with your guests.
- Keep China dishes clean, even though they are made from soil; they are better than dishes made of gold and jade. Saving food makes the food precious, even though \ the vegetables are from your garden; they taste better than precious.
- Do not build luxury homes; do not be eager to buy beautiful gardens.
- Over-exposed beautiful women will not bring happiness home.
- Do not hire beautiful maids; wives should not have heavy makeup.
- Although ancestors left us a long time ago, memorials should be sincere. Although the grandchildren are slow to learn, they need to learn all the classics.
- Live a simple life; set a good example for the young.
- Do not take things that are not yours; do not drink too much.
- When doing business with small vendors, do not cheat. Help your poor neighbors.
- Wealth does not last long when you mistreat others; people who go against nature will not last.
- Family members need to help each other out. The rich need to help the poor. A family needs to have a set of strict rules; the adults need to maintain their principles for the young.
- Listening to women’s gossip will hurt the family; it will not make a good husband. Put money and property first; not taking care of your parents would not be being a good son.
- Do not ask for too many gifts while getting a daughter in-law or marrying a daughter out.
- It is a shame just to be nice to a rich man and bad to a poor man.
- Avoid confrontations, since there is no winner. Try not to talk too much; avoid things you do not mean to say.
- Do not take advantage of a widow and her son; do not kill animals just because you want to eat more.
- A person with self-pride can not get along with others, if unchanged, he is often not successful.
- Do not get close to bad teens, it will bring you trouble sooner or later. Be humble to the experienced and problem solvers; they could help you when you are in trouble.
- Do not believe a person who comes to you to saying someone else is bad. When arguing with others, think hard because it might just be your fault.
- When you help others, forget. When others help you, be sure to remember.
- Always leave enough room for others; when successful, be satisfied, not too greedy.
- When others celebrate, do not be jealous; when others fail or experience disaster, do not feel fortunate and happy.
- When doing a good deed for show, it does not make a nice person. When doing a bad thing to be hidden, it really makes an evil person.
- Whenever you see a beautiful woman and have bad thoughts, remember bad things could happen to your wife and daughter. Evil thoughts hurt people; they only hurt your offspring.
- Even poor without much to eat or wear and paying all taxes leaving nothing more, be nice to each other, because it still brings happiness.
- Study classics not for passing the civil examination, but for becoming a good citizen. When becoming an official, you need to put the country’s interests first, not yourself or your own family first.
- Do your everyday job; live your everyday life. God will take care of the rest.
- If one could follow all of the above, that would be close to the ideal person.