Wisdom In Chinese Proverbs 1
/ Sayings from Ancient China
Wisdom in Chinese Proverbs is a collection ofcomic strips designed to illustrate wise and witty sayings of ancient China.The themes of the comics are selected from a book entitled ‘Zengguang Xianwen’,also known as ‘Ancient and Modern Chinese Proverbs’, compiled between theNorthern Song(960-1127) and Yuan(1206-1368) Dynasties. It contains a richcollection of proverbs, idioms, maxims, legends, anecdotes, historical factsand well-turned phrases. Among other things, it teaches people to work hard andaim high, to respect the elderly and love one’s parents, to foster goodfriendships and detest evildoers.
The wisdom of ancient aphorisms
Has been instructing people earnestly,
This expanded poetic collection of them
Can add knowledge to your philosophy.
Consult history when observing reality,
Reality does not exist without history.
In a country,
The learned virtuous and capable people
Should be the most valuable;
At a feast, the talents of learned people
Should be the most desirable.
To educate farmers, workers and businessmen,
Are the five ethical principles*.
Filial duty and brotherhood
Are the most important,
As in forming a theory,
The core is fundamental.
Respect teachers and value their instruction,
Love the ordinary and live closely
With benevolent people.
* These are about the relationship between a monarch and his officials, afather and his children, a husband and his wife, the relationship betweenbrothers and the relationship between friends.
Money and wealth are pure emptiness,
Humanity and justice are truly priceless.
Behave in accordance with heavenly purposes,
Speak to comply with popular wishes.
Should not offend heaven and earth;
For the sake of your descendants,
Your words and deeds should set a good example.
If rich and noble,
You should pity the hardships
Of the poor and humble;
When young and vigorous,
You should understand the difficulties
Of the old and feeble.
Mere support of your parents is not enough,
You should do your utmost to be dutiful.
A crow feeds its parents when they are old,
A lamb kneels down
When sucking milk from its mother,
Because it has gratitude to show.
Do people travelling far away
Not miss their parents?
Yet parents at home
Worry more about their absent children.
Cherish your parents’ remaining years
And make them happy,
Ding Lan’s carving of wood portraits
For his parents after their death
Is not a good example.
Killing a bull to offer at your parents’ graves
Is not as good as serving them chicken and pork
Before they are decrepit and old.