Home | 365 Days for Travelers
by Chiang Hsun (1947 - )
English translation: Zhi Yue and Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University

A life without experiencing failure is a pity, because the moment of failure is the best moment.

For example, the disappointment of having a manuscript rejected pushes us to rethink and restart again. The loneliness of unrequited love brings us back to ourselves, leading us to a more thorough self-understanding. These profound memories can only be tasted through moments of failure.

In childhood, the taste buds on the tip of our tongue mature, resulting in a love for sweetness─the sweetness of pampering and happiness. As teenagers, the taste buds on the sides of our tongue mature, resulting in a love for tartness because tartness gives a faint feeling of loss. Saltiness is a kind of hard labor─it is the taste of blood and sweat. Spiciness is a kind of passion, as well as madness and rebelliousness. Therefore, the character of Wang Xifeng in the Dream of the Red Chamber, who is astute and highly-capable, is also nicknamed Phoenix Pepper.

Bitterness is a type of stateliness; it is a taste experienced by the back of the tongue, and its taste buds are also the last to mature.

As a result, bitterness is not easy to understand and is the most solemn, therefore people do not want it. But in the end, bitterness is the most stabilizing force in life.

── from Rensheng Yao Zuo Tong De Gongke (Life Requires Some Painful Lessons)