Some ways in which we can make our parents warm in the winter are: giving them thick blankets to cover themselves with making hot tea for them to drink, and turning on the heater. We should do our best to keep our parents warm in the cold winter, so that they won't freeze or catch cold. That way, not only their bodies, but their hearts will also be warm!
We should pay special attention to the word "cool" jing
in Chinese. It has a radical with two drops of water, which
means the water is frozen into ice. The ancient form of this
resembling cracks on the surface of an ice cube, so it means
chilly or icy. So the word “jing” means to make people feel as
cool and refreshed as if they were eating ice. If we write three
drops of water as its radical, it becomes the character “qing
清”which means clean, to make things clean with water.
summer we should make people feel as cool as if they were eating
ice, but in the winter it would be too cold to eat ice. During
the summer, we sweat under the blazing sun outside, and we feel
hot and stuffy inside the house. Our aging parents may not be
able to bear such heat. We can make our parents feel cool and
comfortable by turning on the fan or the air conditioner, or
opening the windows to let the air circulate, or serving them
ice water or cold watermelon. With modern space age technology,
it's quite easy to keep our parents warm in the winter and cool
in the summer. However, it wasn't so easy in the old days. And
precisely because it wasn't easy, the virtue of filial piety
could be revealed through doing it.
Here is an example from the Twenty-four Filial Sons of Chinese history. In the Han dynasty, there was a boy named Huang Xiang whose mother died when he was only nine years old. Yet he proved that he knew how to be filial and take care of his father at such a young age. On sweltering summer nights when their house was as hot as an oven, Huang Xiang would fan the bed before asking his father to sleep. On cold winter nights, the boy would warm the freezing blankets with his own body before asking his father to go to bed. To do such things even occasionally would not have been easy, yet at his young age Huang Xiang did them night after night so that his father could sleep comfortably. What an admirable child!
When we get up in the morning, we should go to see if our parents slept well, if there is something they need, or if they have any instructions for us.
How can we make sure our parents get a good night's rest? In the evening, we can bid them "good night" and pull down the bed covers for them so that they can sleep comfortably and well.
When we go out, we should let our parents know where we are going and when we will be back. We should never slip away without informing them. We can leave the phone number of the place we are going if there is one, and call our parents if we cannot come home on time. Once we get home, we should report to our parents immediately, and not just
slip back to our own room without giving notice, for our parents might stay up and wait for us, worrying about our safety.
Nowadays, many people like to move from place to place and change jobs just for the sake of finding something new. However, we should know that frequent moving and changing of jobs tends to make our moods unstable and our lives insecure. It also causes our parents to worry about us. If our parents live with us and have to move as well, they may become afflicted, because the elderly don't like to experience changes. Therefore, we should try to avoid moving and changing jobs too frequently. If we are forced by the circumstances to do so, we should inform our parents immediately so that they will not worry and will know where to find us in an emergency.
Once there was a Mrs. Brown who lived in an apartment in Los Angeles. Although her son was not a bad person, he had never had a stable residence or job. He moved several times each year. Sometimes he remembered to call his mother to inform her of his new address and phone number, but usually she only had two or three of his old addresses in her address book. Mrs. Brown always sighed sorrowfully whenever she spoke of her son. She always worried about whether he could support himself and wondered where he was living. One day Mrs. Brown died of a brain stroke. After several days of not seeing her, her neighbors suspected that something was wrong and broke into her house, where they found her body, already beginning to stink. After several days of searching, they finally reached her son, who had just lost his job and moved twice. What a sad plight!