Monday, May 3, 2010

Kong Rong Teaches us Courtesy and Respect

Last week, I bought some chocolate bars. But it was warm out and a few of them melted and hardened again. I ate the ugly ones myself and shared the good ones with friends. One of my good friends asked me why I didn’t save the good ones for myself. To explain, I told him a story about the Chinese bureaucrat, poet and war-lord Kong Rong when he was just four years old.

Kong Rong (153 – 208) lived during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. He was also the 20th generation descendant of Confucius. He had six brothers, five older and one younger.

One day, when he was four years old, a friend brought his family some pears for his grandmother’s birthday. His father asked each of his seven sons to choose his own pear. First he asked the youngest brother. The youngest chose the biggest pear. Kong Rong was next. He chose the smallest.

His father was surprised and asked him why. Kong Rong said, “Just as there are taller and shorter trees, I have older and younger brothers. Respect for elders is part of humanity. I am one of the younger bothers, therefore I should take the smallest pear, and leave the big pears to the elders.”

His father then asked him, “what about your little brother?”

Kong Rong said, “I am an older brother to my younger brother. I should take care of him, and that’s why I should let him have the bigger one.”

Kong Rong went on to become a great scholar. He was always good-tempered and hospitable, and his house was always full of guests.

My father told me this story when I was little. I remember that he told me that one should never take advantage of others. I have benefited from this story my entire life. Kong Rong acted this way when he was just four years old. This is incredible. Imagine if we could all act like that. It is important to show courtesy and respect to your classmates and teacher while learning Tai Chi or other disciplines. You will learn better if you are polite and respectful to people.

Copyrighted by Huan's Tai Chi 2010

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