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by Jin Ying (Years unknown, Qing Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

Don’t say that a thought of deception can be allowed, for heaven, earth, gods and spirits are watching over you.

Don’t say that careless speech won’t matter, for those around you are listening more carefully than you may think.

Don’t say that certain circumstances can be overlooked, for it could become a matter of life and death.

Don’t say that a moment of recklessness can be permitted, for the retributions could fall on your descendants.

Kind deeds are like grass in the garden whose growth may not seem obvious, but lengthens day by day.

Unwholesome deeds are like a whetstone whose decrease may not seem obvious, but deteriorates day by day.


The ability to refrain from doing evil when circumstances allow is good itself.
Failure to ensure that good is done when circumstances require is evil itself.

Good is a great treasure that can never be exhausted.
The mind is like a field of goodness,
Even after a hundred lifetimes’ cultivation,
It is still abundant.

Rather than spending all day speaking good words,
one may as well perform one single good deed.
Rather than spending all day performing good deeds,
one may as well prevent one wrong from being done.

── from Geyan Lianbi (Aphorisms and Apothegms)