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FOUNDATIONS: SOME ADMONITIONS
by Wang Xijue (1534 - 1614, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Filial piety is the foundation for establishing self.
Loyalty and kind heartedness are the foundation of intention.
Resolve is the foundation for engaging in advanced studies.
Reading is the foundation for starting a family.
Hard work and thrift are the foundation for maintaining one’s family.
Having few desires is the foundation for keeping out of harm’s way.
Controlling one’s desires is the foundation for getting rid of illness.
Honesty and prudence are the foundation of being an official.
Kindness is the foundation for the treatment of the people.
Choosing good friends is the foundation for gaining benefit.
Modesty is the foundation for receiving instruction.
Self-cultivation is the foundation for stopping slander.
Shouldering responsibility is the foundation for receiving blessings.
One sutra is the foundation for a child’s education.
Storing good deeds is the foundation for enriching one’s offspring.
Convenience is the foundation for handling affairs.
Expediency is the foundation for meeting contingencies.
Courage and strategy are the foundations for holding a post.
Real victory is the foundation for gaining force.
Saints and sages use the mind as their foundation;
The gentleman focuses his energies on these foundations.

── from Geyan Lianbi (Aphorisms and Apothegms)