侍奉诸位伯叔舅父，如同侍奉自己的父亲一样恭敬。 We should serve
all our uncles as respectfully as we serve our own fathers.
all older cousins
对待各个堂表姻兄，如同对待自己的哥哥一样友爱。 We should be as
friendly with our older cousins as we are with our own older
There is a couplet that says:
nothing in the world that does not come from parents;
this only when we are without parents.
Brothers are the hardest
to come by in the world.
But we don't realize it when our
brothers are around.
Our closest human relationships are
with our parents, and secondly with our brothers, teachers, and
elders. Therefore, filial piety and fraternal respect are the
foundation for education in human ethics. When one builds a
house, one must first lay a solid foundation. The foundation
stones of the pillars of the house have to be set securely, or
else the house may topple. Filial piety and fraternal respect
are not be taken in the narrow sense of referring only to one's
own parents and brothers. Filial piety should be extended to our
uncles and all our elders. Fraternal respect should expand to
include our cousins and all others who are of the same
generation or of later generations. In other words, these
virtues should encompass all people and all sentient beings.
This is the ultimate significance of the Buddhist spirit of
"great kindness for those with whom we have no affinities, and
the great compassion of being one with all." The later verses
discuss the cultivation of trustworthiness and harmony in one's
social interactions and handling of affairs. For now we will
return to and conclude the discussion of the basic virtues of
filial piety and fraternal respect.
Human relationships are like spiderwebs,
spun from the inside out proceeding in orderly succession with
clearly defined levels. The spider at the center of the web is
"humaneness," the places its web reaches are "righteousness,"
and the paths it takes are "propriety." After one has practiced
filial piety and fraternal respect toward one's own parents and
siblings, one should focus on one's uncles and cousins. That is
the second level of humaneness, and is in accord with principle.
We love and respect our parents and siblings, and our parents
love and respect their siblings; our parents love us, and our
uncles of course love their own children. Therefore, when we
love and respect our cousins, we are empathizing with our
uncles, which is to be filial to them. Being filial to our
uncles is in turn empathizing with our parents, which is to be
filial to our parents. The ancient sayings: "Our paternal uncles
are like our own father," and "When we see our maternal uncles,
it's like seeing our own mother," express this principle.
Lord Mu of the state of Qin and Lord
Wen of Jin were two feudal lords during the Spring and Autumn
Period of Chinese history. Lord Mu's wife was the elder sister
of Lord Wen. In his youth, Lord Wen fled from his oppressive
stepmother Liji and wandered through various states. When he
arrived in the state of Qin, Lord Mu's wife had already passed
away. and Lord Mu's son, the crown prince, really felt that he
was seeing his own mother when he saw Lord Wen, his uncle. When
Lord Wen was about to leave, the crown prince could hardly bear
to let him go; he was filled with yearning. The poem "Wei Yang"
in the Book of Odes speaks of Lord Kang of the state of Qin,
after assuming the throne, remembering his maternal uncle, Lord
Wen. From this one can see how much more virtuous and filial the
ancients were. We should quickly return to the virtuous ways of