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UNDERSTANDING LIFE

by Lin Yutang (1895 - 1976)
English translation: Miao Guang

To be a free and happy person without going against the laws of nature is just like being in a play. A good actor, though perfectly aware that it is all fake, is still able to express himself in a way that is even more realistic, more natural, and more joyful than in real life.

The same goes for life: the most important thing is to not to be calculative regarding what is true or false, gain or loss, fame or benefit, nobility or worthlessness, wealth or poverty. Rather, it is about how to live each day happily, and discover the poetic part of life. On some level, imperfection is a normal part of life, while perfection the abnormal. It is just as the saying goes, “seldomly full, the moon crescents most of the time.”

If we understand life this way, we will soon be more understanding, more free and unfettered. At the same time, worries and gloomy days will also be gone with the wind.

── from Rensheng Buguo Ruci (This is Life, Nothing More)