Being Considerate is the Most Commendable Skill

The white lotus flower is a symbol of purity of the mind and the spirit.
(Jakub Hałun/Wikiimages)
The white lotus flower is a symbol of purity of the mind and the spirit. (Jakub Hałun/Wikiimages)

Long ago, there were two families living in the same village, but they had very different home lives. The Wang’s argued all the time and lived in misery. Meanwhile, the Li’s lived in harmony, and everyone in the family always had a smiling face. One day, Wang was so fed up with the fighting in his house that he went to the Li’s. He asked Li: “How can your family always be so content with each other?”: Li answered: “Because we often make mistakes.”

When Wang heard this, he became very confused. Just then Li’s daughter-in-law came in and slipped on the kitchen floor. Li’s wife, who was mopping at the time, ran over to her and helped her up. “It’s all my fault,” she said. “I used too much water, and the floor was very wet.” Li’s son came in with an apologetic face and said: “It’s all my fault. I forgot to tell you that mother is mopping.” The daughter-in-law stood up and blamed herself: “No, no, it’s all my fault. I was not careful.” After seeing this, Wang understood.

Many years later, the same village was now a city, and the descendants of Wang still lived there. In that family, a 12-year-old girl asked her mother: “Why do we have to walk in our apartment so carefully, like there are landmines buried in the floor?”

Her mother smiled: “The Lin family lives right below us, and our floor is Grandpa Lin’s ceiling. If we walk heavily and make a lot of noise, it will bother Grandpa and Grandma Lin a great deal. If we wake them up at night, it would be hard for them to go back to sleep.

The girl pouted: “Why doesn’t the family that lives above us think that way? They always make such loud noises.” The mother said: “Because they have a 3-year-old boy. Of course he needs to jump around so he can grow up.” The little girl pouted even more. “So we just deserve it?!” The mother patted her head, smiled, and said firmly: “Daughter, to be considerate of others is the most commendable skill in life.”

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