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FOCUS ON EDUCATION

慈祥代天宣化 忠孝為國敎民

On behalf of Heaven,proclaim and transform with kindness. For the country,teach the people to be loyal and filial.

弟子規淺釋
AN EXPLANATION OF THE RULES FOR BEING A STUDENT

孫秀美 文 By Jennifer Li

呼 

 zhang

hu

ren

 

ji

dai

 jiao

長輩

叫喚

他人

 

就;立刻

叫喚

elder

to call

someone

 

then; immediately

do things for others

to call

如果長輩叫喚他人,應該立刻替長輩去叫;

If an elder is looking for someone, we should look for that person for him.

 在

  到

ren

bu

zai

 

ji

xian

dao

他人

 

在那裏

 

自己

在先的

到面前

someone

not

there

 

self

first

to go to

若是長輩要找的人不在,自己就先到長輩面前應答。
If the person they want is not there, we should first respond to the call.

曾子談論孔子的道是:「夫子之道,忠恕而已矣。」所謂「忠」,就是「盡己」,凡事有始有終;這是敬慎的心,也就是平等心。所謂「恕」,就是「己所不欲,勿施於人」;這是體諒的心,也就是大悲心。要想擁有這些美好的道德,必須自小在家庭生活中培養起。

譬如這裡所說的,替長輩叫人,就可以訓練孩子對人對事的敬慎心。怎麼說呢?長輩一定是有事,才須要找人去;「有事弟子服其勞」,我們當然應該代他去把人找來。萬一要找的人不在,我們若不去回覆,長輩就會在那兒苦等,豈不是很沒責任感嗎?所以要有頭有尾地完成這件事,不但去回覆長輩,更要進一步請問:有沒有自己可以代為效勞的?這種對人對事的敬慎心,就是在培養我們的責任感。一個有責任感的人,遇事不會漠不關心或虎頭蛇尾,所以也是個可以付託重任的人。這便是忠的精神!不要以為叫叫人只是件小事情,大道德原都是自微細處實行起的。

不直呼長輩的名,也是一種敬慎的表現。現代的孩子,不但對兄姐直呼其名,對父母長輩也直呼其名;美其名曰縮短人際距離,其實已開了長幼無序的大門。長幼無序的結果是怎樣呢?孩子小時,對父母就狎暱而不知恭敬;稍長,父母稍不滿他的願,就會認為父母不再關心他;長大後,自然動輒迕逆反抗,成為一個不孝子。是故當孩子小時,做父母的若不能以恭敬兄長來要求他,甚至對他不禮貌的言語舉止,還以為是逗笑可愛的,日後就不免要嘗到氣惱傷心的滋味了!

那麼又為什麼在長輩面前不該賣弄自己的本事呢?俗話說:「逢人但說三分話。」又說:「匹夫無罪,懷璧其罪。」不賣弄自己的本事,可以免去他人嫉害,不但對自己是一種保護,而且對人更是一種慈悲。試想想看:如果換了是別人在我們不能的事情上炫耀,我們是不是也很難堪呀?所以從這小事做起,可以長養慈悲心,學會體諒人,這就是恕道!

In speaking of the doctrine of Confucius, Zeng Zi said, "The doctrine of our teacher is simply loyalty and forgiveness." Loyalty means to do one's best. We must finish whatever we start. It also means having a cautious and respectful attitude, and an attitude of fairness and equality. Forgiveness means not doing to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself. This is an attitude of considering others' feelings, and is therefore great compassion. To have these good virtues, one must start developing them at home when Ione is young.

For example, running errands for our elders can train us to be cautious and respectful in handling business. Why? Our elders must have urgent business to take care of when they call for someone. "When there's a task to be done, we as disciples should help out," so of course we must go and find the person they want to see. If the person we are looking for cannot be found and we don't go back to report to our elders, they will be there waiting and will be very worried. Wouldn't that be irresponsible on our part? So we must finish the errand completely. Not only should we go back to tell our elders that we can't find the person, we must ask further if they have anything else we can do. This kind of careful respect will help us to develop a sense of responsibility. A responsible person will not handle matters as if he didn't care, nor will he start out with big plans but end up doing very little. He is someone who can take on heavy responsibilities. This is the spirit of loyalty. Do not think that running errands for people is a petty chore; great virtues all begin with the practice of small deeds.

Not calling elders by their first name is also a sign of cautiousness and respect. Children nowadays not only call their elder brothers and sisters by their first names, but also call their parents and elders by name. Some people defend this trend, saying that it lessens the distance between people, but in actuality it is opening the door to there being no distinction between elders and children. What is the result of all this? Children will become too familiar with their parents when they are little, and will not know to respect their parents. When children reach their pre-teens, if the parents do not fulfill their wishes, they will feel that their parents don't care about them anymore. When they grow up they will rebel and become unfilial children. Therefore when children are young, if the parents do not require them to respect their elder brothers and sisters, and merely think they are kidding and are cute when they speak and act with bad manners, later on the parents will experience anger and parents when they are little, and will not know to respect their parents. When children reach their pre-teens, if the parents do not fulfill their wishes, they will feel that their parents don't care about them anymore. When they grow up they will rebel and become unfilial children. Therefore when children are young, if the parents do not require them to respect their elder brothers and sisters, and merely think they are kidding and are cute when they speak and act with bad manners, later on the parents will experience anger and from these small matters we can start to nurture a compassionate mind and learn to be considerate of others. This is "forgiveness."

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