Home | 365 Days for Travelers

by Ma Ying-jeou (1950 - )
English translation: Zhi Yue


Only the benevolent are able to handle major situations as if small matters. Only the wise are able to handle small matters as if major situations. In the current Cross-Strait relations, both parties must be based upon mutual trust and the wisdom of the Chinese nation. Together, in this way, a common solution can be proposed to ensure peaceful coexistence.

I hope everyone can exercise public authority for the greater good, keeping in mind a well-known admonishment: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


Facing the daily accusations and attacks regarding her son during the election period, my mother said, “Life has its ups and downs. Each of one of us needs learn how to be patient with our own sorrows. Only in this way can you understand what victory is, and the meaning of true happiness.”

Since we were young, my mom had taught us to be frugal, sincere, honest, and patriotic, as well as to read works in classical Chinese and English, and to practice calligraphy. In her letters to us, when she was sick, she wrote, “Your father and I have never craved wealth our entire lives.” In our home, allowances were given as a reward for diligent work, encouraging us to help out with housework and to foster our habit of working and saving money. My mom did things with a low-profile, being cautious in words and actions; in my thirty-years of being in public office, she had never once intervened in my official duties. The only thing she had given me was support, never disturbances.

My parents have always encouraged us to put into practice our Grandfather Li-An’s instructions, “All gold is not precious─books are. All things are empty─doing good isn’t.” In addition, a couplet, personally written by my father, hung in our living room as a reminder.

It read, “Study well, but do not forget the family guidelines. Establish oneself without shaming one’s parents.” Having lived in Wenshan District for over forty years, the impression my mother gave our neighbors and the vendors at the marketplace was exactly as such.

── from “Cimu Liangshi Yijiazi, Yongshi Nanbao Yangyu En: Dao Wangmu Houxiu Nushi” (“Sixty Years of a Compassionate Mother and Teacher, A Kindness that is Forever Difficult to Repay: A Eulogy for My Mother, Mrs. Hou-Hsiu”) and others