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by Gao Panlong (1562 - 1626, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Speech is a way that can greatly accumulate merits.
When one sees wholesome actions of others,
endorse it with one’s speech.
When one sees unwholesome actions,
admonish it with one’s speech.
When people have disputes,
reconcile with one’s speech.
When people suffer injustice
clarify with one’s speech.
Do not pry into other’s personal life,
nor discuss other’s private affairs,
in this way, merit is boundless.
The reason for one’s downfall,
has eighty-percent to do with one’s speech.

English translation: William Chong

The greatest deed is none other than relieving the distressed and sympathizing with the poor. Giving relief does not require a large sum of one’s money, but only calls for a mind of expediency. Even leftover soup and rice can satisfy others’ hunger, and ragged clothes can protect others from the cold.

A dish or two dispensed from a banquet, a present or two omitted, an outfit or two excluded from one’s possession, and a luxurious item or two economized can all be one’s consideration for the poor.

Keep some extra savings as relief aids for others at times of emergency, eliminate the purposeless for great purposes, and accumulate small merits for great virtues.

These are all part of the major lesson for the deeds of goodness.

── from Gaoshi Jiaxun (Gao Family Motto)