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THE WAY TO A HAPPY LIFE (EXCERPT)

by Wu Zunxian (1916 - 1999)
English translation: Zhi Yue

My father once taught me and my brothers a poem:

He rides a stallion, and I ride a donkey,
As I lower my head for feeling inferior,
I then look up to see men toiling carts,
Though lesser than some, but still better off than many.

This poem, though simple and obvious, has a deep and significant meaning. It tells me that people should be content, as those who have contentment live without worry. However, I also think life should not be lived just for one’s food and clothing, but for a greater purpose. I have come to the conclusion that people in this world ought to work earnestly and engage in undertakings with the spirit of striving for no less than success; on the one hand, it increased employment opportunities, and on the other, it contributes to society and the country. It is not so much as to whether we earn money on the job, but whether we find the job meaningful. In this way, we exert ourselves to help the world through relief work, to benefit the masses, and to encourage progress, virtue, and harmony.

In my opinion, the pursuit of happiness in life, is nothing more than the following:
1. Having good health.
2. Having a harmonious family.
3. Working diligently.
4. Being content and grateful.
5. Helping others and doing good.

── from Rensheng Qishi (The Seventy Years of My Life)