Monday, May 5, 2008

Modesty and kindliness

The following text was given to me by father in the form of an old printed glossy sheet with ‘Courtesy of: Weider Sports Equipment Co Ltd’ stamped on the back. It must be very old because it is a long time since my father (84) bought any sports equipment! There is no indication of where the text comes from, though it has a Middle Eastern ring, and if anyone recognizes the source please let me know. The presentation is very simple, almost naïve by today’s standards, but I find it all the more effective for its simplicity. I think it deserves to be read again. (There is another text on the back called ‘Noble behaviour’, which I will post next).

Modesty and kindliness

Where words abound, sin is not wanting;
He who controls his tongue is a wise man.
Whatever an evil man fears will befall him;
The desire of the righteous will be granted.
A kind man does good to himself;
A cruel man does himself harm.
A fool is sure his own way is right;
A wise man will listen to advice.
A man of quick temper acts foolishly;
But a man of discretion is patient.
A gentle answer turns away wrath;
But harsh words stir up anger.
He who returns evil for good,
Evil will never leave his house.
A happy heart helps and heals;
A broken spirit dries up the bones.
Even a fool is counted wise if he keeps silent;
With closed lips he is thought intelligent.
A good name is a better choice than riches;
A good reputation is more than silver and gold.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food;
Give him water if he is thirsty.
You see a man wise in his own eyes –
More hope for a fool than for him.
The door turns on its hinges,
And the lazy man upon his back.
Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it;
The stone a man sets rolling rebounds upon himself.
Let others praise you, not yourself;
Not your own lips but someone else.
Happy the man who lives in fear of sin;

Reckless men will come to grief.

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond