The Good and the Evil

24 Sep

We can talk about anything frankly and truthfully among best friends, almost anything.  Most people cannot bear the truth because the truth hurts. Best friends and I are talked frankly because we did and we survived.  Lucky us!

Does that mean we should continue to do so?  The answer has everything and anything to do with  “the good and the evil.”

I grew up in a culture without any dominating religion. Instead, the culture is filled with wisdoms and superstitions; both wisdoms and superstitions are in the representations of Confucianism and Daoism.

Confucius  was lived from 551-479 BC, a Chinese philosopher, whose teaching emphasized the concept in the individual and public morality, the correctness of social relationships, the justice for all, and the sincerity of each individual. (ref. wikipage)

Daoism is a philosophical tradition and can be back traced to  600 BC, wiich emphasizes on living in harmony with lives.  Dao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists. It is ultimately ineffable, i.e., “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. “ (ref. wikipage)

Ineffability is concerned with ideas that cannot or should not be expressed in spoken words, often being in the form of a taboo or incomprehensible term. (ref. wikipage)

Wisdom is defined as good sense, insight, and the accumulation of scientific knowledge.

Superstition is defined as the irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.  Yes, something is mysterious and we have to have faith in it.

Some of the quotable wisdoms in Confucianism are typically described as  follows:

First, all of us are going through a life with the following staged view:  (三十而立,四十不惑,五十知天命,六十顺,七十方为所欲为不逾矩。)

  1. We are supposed to be self-sufficient and established at the age 30.
  2. We reach to the state  of no longer being confused at the age 40.
  3. We understand our own destinies at the age 50.
  4. We allow any critisim about ourselves with ease at the age 60.
  5. We can do everything we want without offending anyone or violating any law at the age 70.

Second, on who we are, human beings are born to be good. We are all similar in characters even if our habits may be far apart.   ” 人之初性本善,性相近习相远。”

Third, on what we should do, what you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.  “己所不欲,勿施於人。”

Last, on what we could do, I can always find a teacher, a mentor, or someone I can learn from while I am with two other people.  “三人行, 必有我师。”

In Daoism, striving for the state of harmony is essential since everything has two sides, i.e.,  the dichotomy of things. The following three quotations are typical Dao’s teaching:

  • The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao. “道可道非常道”
  • The name that can be named is not the eternal name. “名可名非常名”
  • Always utter the half of what you want to say. “话到嘴边留半句”

In western culture, the similar wisdoms can be found as well. For example,

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” –Bible

“Sandwich every bit of criticism between two thick layers of praise.” ~Mary Kay Ash and

“For a manager to be perceived as a positive manager, they need a four to one positive to negative contact ratio.” ~Ken Blanchard

In conclusion, human beings are born to be good. We can always find reasons for evil doings done by evil doers. To avoid those evil doings, we should promote causes for doing the good and oppress the causes for doing the evils. 

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