Standards for Being a Good Student and Child
(A Guide to a Happy Life)
“Being Close to Kind and Virtuous People”
There is an old Chinese saying that a person with virtue and compassion has no enemies. “Xiao” and “Ti” have been the very foundation of Chinese culture for five thousand years. Those two qualities separate a person from an animal. “Xiao” and “Ti” are the minimum requirements for being a human, while compassion and virtue are the highest standards set by Confucius for being a human.
For us to reach the highest standards, we must first fulfill our duties to our parents. But where can we find these people who are truly compassionate and virtuous so that we can be close to them and learn from them? The world today is in great turmoil. It would be a difficult task if not impossible to find even one person. If we cannot find that person, the next best thing is to follow the teachings of saints and sages from the past and learn from them. If we belong to a religious group, we can always follow the teachings of our religion. We can select from any one of the groups just mentioned and just follow the respective teachings to be our guide in this life.]
First StandardWe are all human beings, but we are not the same. Most of us are ordinary; only a few of us are kind and virtuous.
As human beings, we are each different; unique in mind and body. One of these differences is in behavior.
We all have both good and bad behaviors. Sometimes we are respectful and considerate towards others. At other times, we tend to only think of ourselves and ignore how our selfish behavior affects others. In time, as we become aware of our unacceptable behavior and realize what we’re doing wrong, we’ll be able to begin to correct our faults and improve how we act.
So why is it important to behave properly? Why do we need to change our unacceptable behaviors?
Our past behaviors have resulted in who we are and what we have today, our present behaviors will result in who we’ll become in the future.
And it’s not only our behaviors that determine who we are today. How we think and talk will also contribute to the kinds of lives we’ll have in the future. For example, if we always talk about others and say things we’re not sure are true, then we will become the target of gossip and lies.
On the other hand, if we considerate and trustworthy of other’s feelings, then we’ll attract friends who are also trustworthy and considerate. So instead of ending up with selfish and unkind friends, we’ll have friends who are loyal and understanding.
If we devote even more time and effort, we’ll truly become a good person.
Why would we want to be truly virtuous, to always be good and kind and to be respectful of others?
When we become truly kind and respectful, we will make our parents very happy and proud of us. We will avoid misunderstandings and arguments with our brothers and sisters or with other people. In the end, we will be liked and respected by all people we meet.
We will avoid hurting others or doing something wrong and then wonder how to undo the harm we have created. Other kind and virtuous people will want to be near us. They will trust us and treat us with respect, and not say things that will hurt our feelings.
A person who is truly virtuous and kind, we live a happy and enjoyable life.
How do we create this good life? By following the standards described in Di Zi Gui and understanding that everything we do has consequences.
The way we act towards others is the way they will act towards us.
And the way we act and talk starts with how we think.
With correct thoughts, speech and actions, we will become the caring and thoughtful children, teens and adults good people admire and want to be close to.
Second StandardTruly virtuous people are held in awe by others. They are not afraid to speak the truth, and they do not fawn on others.
Third StandardIf we associate with and learn from people of great virtue, we will benefit greatly. Day by day, our own virtues will grow and our faults will lessen. If we do not associate with and learn from these people, we will suffer a great loss. We will attract people without virtue, and nothing we do will succeed.
When we spend time with good people, we will learn from then and become more virtuous ourselves. But if we distance ourselves from them, we’ll end up attracting unvirtuous people. Then we will have serious problems.