Reflection, Gratitude, and a Happy New Year

By Tea with Erping | January 1, 2022
A graduate of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard Kennedy School, Erping focuses on China studies, including its traditional culture and human rights abuses perpetrated by the current communist regime. He co-founded two New York-based associations for scholarly research and seminars on East Asia geopolitics. Erping's hobbies include travel, Greek philosophy, Chinese history, meditation, a bowl of New England clam chowder, and of course, a warm cup of freshly brewed tea.
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(Image: Tea with Erping)

Welcome to Tea with Erping.

Confucius once said, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” 

But nothing will be as good as reflection

Wouldn’t you agree? Let us take a moment to truly reflect upon the good, the bad of the past, and what’s yet to come. Self-reflection goes hand in hand with discipline.

To be able to reflect upon oneself is almost like having a magical tool that can allow oneself to have a better life. I’m not talking about a better life in terms of living large and being materially rich. I’m talking more about the positive results it can bring to one’s life if one is ever willing to reflect upon his or her daily doings. 

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(Image: Tea with Erping)

Now let me ask you a simple question. After the last time you had an argument with someone,

did you end up talking your heart out to your confidant, endlessly blaming the other party

for doing the wrong thing and believing that it’s all their fault?

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Rewind that moment in your head and start asking yourself these few questions: 

Which part of it was my fault?

Is it truly them to be blamed?

If I were in their shoes, how would I feel?

Three very simple questions to reflect on. Learn to apply it every time you get into an argument, and you got yourself a magical tool! Don’t just take my words for it. Being able to reflect upon oneself will make life seem easier. Just try it.

I invite you to watch my episode on karma, and hopefully it could help you see things from a different lens. Remember: always try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

Gratitude

Gratefulness is indeed a characteristic that we may seem to stray away from at times. Of course, a big bonus, a new house, a pay-raise will get one to be grateful. But here, I’m talking about the little things in life. 

For in little things, our lives eventually come as a whole. To be grateful that another day has come. A fresh cup of tea or coffee first thing in the morning, the sound of birds chirping, a walk in the park, hearing your favorite song playing on the radio, dancing in the rain, finding a great book to read, catching up with an old friend, the first snowfall, I could go on and on as the list is rather endless. 

As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

We should also be grateful for all the challenges and tribulations we have encountered in life as they helped us grow and mature, while serving to remind us that things always happen for a reason. 

I have come to accept that resolutions may or may not work. I prefer to believe that as long as you do good, be good, and choose to see the good, you’re pretty well set in life. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

So here’s to a brand new year, 2022. Let us strive for goodness and kindness without forgetting that life is but a dream. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. After all, the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. May the year ahead bring every one of us to a new beginning of life, and its wonders, peace, and tea included for sure.