Some people are not evil, yet
they are loathed by others. Some people do not
have bad intentions, yet they always do things that hurt others without
benefiting themselves. There is no other reason for this, except that
do not understand the art of saying the right things to the right
people at the right
time and the right place. A previous line in the text said, "For
throughout the world, cherish a fond regard." However, such fond regard
should be based upon what is right, or else it becomes indiscriminate love.What is right means what is appropriate. In other words, we should
speak and act appropriately. When our words and actions are
relationships with others will be smooth and unobstructed. Learning to
maintain harmonious relationships with people is a lesson that we
study into our old age and for which there is no fixed textbook or
speak at the wrong time, then even if we are talking to the right
person and saying the right things, what was originally good becomes
bad. How much worse
it would be if we are saying inappropriate things or engaging in idle
chatter. If we are not speaking to the right person, then even if what
saying is appropriate, it is like "strumming the lute to a cow." If the
of conversation is improper and affects someone else's reputation, then
it is a case of "bringing on disasters with the mouth"—the consequences
be endless. This section discusses the basic guidelines of
conversation, which should not be taken lightly.
general, to approach a person who is busy with other matters is like
adding more weight to the load on his shoulders; that would be a poor
dealing with people. To disturb someone who is distressed with
chatter is like "adding frost to snow"—that would be making a mistake
As to the content of what is said, we should make a point of being
concise and to the point and of avoiding unnecessary idle talk. We
definitely expose others' good points and not talk about their
we will certainly hurt others, which would be a double mistake in
human relations. We would then be in trouble ourselves, and also cause
trouble for our family and our country.
people are always kind and magnanimous; they cannot bear to hurt or
annoy others. Therefore, they usually speak very little. Wise people
penetrating understanding of things and do not make poor judgments in
dealing with people or talking to them; they are always careful in
speech. By speaking little, one avoids gossip. By speaking with
avoids causing resentment. If one is able to watch one's words in this
one will hardly make any mistakes or suffer any calamities on account
said, "When there is little to blame in one's words and little to
regret in one's actions, one will travel at ease even in barbaric
other words, if one's speech is trustworthy and one's actions are
sincere, one will be able to travel freely throughout the world! In
this world, what
greater freedom is there? Most people have a mistaken idea that freedom
being able to say and do whatever they feel like. By indulging in the
freedom of speaking and acting recklessly, they intrude upon the
countless others and permanently lose their own freedom when the
consequences of their careless behavior befall upon them. Some lines in
passage of text said:
just a little is better than to chatter non-stop all day long.
Talk only about what you're sure of; don't use cunning or flowery words.
Mr. Chu's Rules for
Managing the Household warns us: "When others have cause to
rejoice, we must not be jealous. When others suffer disasters, we must
not feel glad." If a matter does not concern us, there is no need to
it.Even if people have their bad sides, we should try to be tolerant.
Wu of the state of Zhou defeated the tyrant-emperor Yin, he humbly went
to pay his respects to the emperor's parents and inquired as to the
for the emperor's demise. The elder told him to come back the following
meet him at a certain time and place. The next day, King Wu and the
Duke of Zhou
went together. The appointed time passed and they kept waiting for a
time, but the elder did not show up. The Duke of Zhou understood and
said to King
Wu in praise, "This elder is truly worthy! Although his former ruler
evil,he could not bear to speak about his faults. He could only hint to
through breaking his own promise, that it was Yin's untrustworthiness
brought his demise."
was a great philosopher in ancient Greece. His views differed widely
from those of the populace, and for that reason many people disliked
him. One day,
as he was strolling through Athens with a friend, a young man whom he
know suddenly picked his pockets, hit him with a stick, and then fled.
friend,seeing that Socrates was not too badly hurt, was about to chase
the young man to even the score. However, Socrates grabbed his friend
continued walking as if nothing had happened. His friend asked him in
"Don't tell me you're afraid of trouble!"
not at all," said Socrates.
"Then why didn't you want to get back at the man who hit you?"
smiled and said, "My old friend! Your brain has become addled! If a
donkey kicked you, would you kick it back?"
two anecdotes, the refusal of the parents of the emperor of Yin to
speak of the former emperor's faults showed their humaneness; Socrates'
quarrel with a bad person showed his wisdom. Although we may not be
nature,how can we not be wise ones who strive to be humane?