Why should we cherish all living beings? Why not just look
after ourselves? There is a saying: "Heaven has the virtue of
cherishing life." If we think only of our own well-being, but
fail to consider the well-being of other people and other living
beings,: then we are being selfish.
"The Way of Heaven is unselfish."
Nature allows the myriad things to. grow naturally; each has its
right to survive. Even a small plant will struggle through the
winter so that it can produce a resplendent flower in the
spring: how could we mercilessly destroy it? The affinities that
have brought us together here on this earth were developed
through hundreds of thousands of eons. Isn't it a pity that
rather than cherishing these affinities, we always want to hurt
and humiliate each other instead? All beings were born from and
raised by their parents. Are we the only ones who get to receive
our parents' loving care and to show respect to our parents? Can
we take away the right of other beings to do the same for their
Therefore, it is not enough to respect our own parents and
elders and to be careful and trustworthy in our own conduct. We
must also be kind and friendly to other people and other beings.
That is true humaneness. If we wish to refrain from all evil and
practice all good, we should constantly draw near to good
teachers and ask them to teach us how to conduct ourselves well
and to get rid of our bad habits. In drawing near such teachers,
we should not feel shy or embarrassed, nor should we fear
difficulty. No matter how far we have to travel, we should still
draw near to them, not just sit at home and wait for a good
teacher to show up and teach us.