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Where there is a will, there is a way.

 
 
 

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年过半百,经历坎坷.少年遇"文革",下乡八载,虽历经磨难,唯斗志不减,农耕间隙自学不辍,终守得云开日出,考进大学.大学毕业后先后经历了中学执教,国企管理,外企高管,最后回归重执教鞭.目前在家精心培养有志掌握英语的中小学生. 我最大的愿望就是看到孩子学有所成,桃李天下.

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我发表的新文章《让我们过简单的生活》  

2014-02-11 20:36:20|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Let’s live a simple life

 

Wu Guangqiang

 

HAPPINESS lies in contentment” is one of my personal mottos. My belief in simple living has nothing to do with religious conviction or asceticism; I do not object to enjoying creature comforts as products of modern civilization. I just disdain excessive pursuit of material possessions or uninhibited indulgence in sensual and bodily enjoyment. And I detest insatiable avarice at the expense of nature, the environment and the interests of others.

 

A few factors have helped form my outlook on life, which is that the simple life is beneficial to health and longevity, and naturally good for the world we live in.

 

My parents are good examples of beneficiaries of the simple life. Life had never been easy for them as they had to raise five children with their meager income, but I never saw a doleful look on their faces. Though we hardly had plenty to eat or enough to wear during the hardships from before the era of reform and opening up, they tried their best to make their children grow up in good health, both physically and mentally.

 

My father worked in a remote county, with my mother taking care of the children on her own. Even now I still can’t figure out how she managed to juggle work and bringing up five kids. All I vaguely remember is that she got up very early every morning, preparing breakfast for the kids, washing clothes by hand and doing other chores before rushing to work. My father seldom had a leisure moment before his old age — he was always busy making small gadgets meant to facilitate housework or fixing up damaged furniture or kitchenware while he was on holiday at home or after he retired.

 

My parents lived through the hardest times always with a smile on their faces and they got ample rewards. My siblings and I have been taking good care of them and they enjoy each day of their retired life. My father passed away at age 90, and my mother is currently 98 and in good shape.

 

My own life experience has also shown me the value of the simple life. Not of my own choice, I went to work on a State-run farm when I was only 17. Deprived of opportunities for education, I was depressed, but soon I chose to face up to my fate. I wrote a scroll of calligraphy and hung it up on the wall above my bed to motivate myself. It was a line of Chinese verse, meaning “where there is a will, there is a way.”

 

Instead of escaping from anguish by drinking, smoking or fooling around as many other fellow workers did, I found solace and peace in self-improvement. After hard work, I took pleasure in reading, sketching, singing and practicing calligraphy. It was because of my adherence to learning over these tough years that I was able to pass the first National College Entrance Exams after the end of the “Cultural Revolution” and became a college student, completely changing my own fate.

 

To me, anything I have today is a blessing compared to what I experienced in my youth, so I am content with every meal, every piece of clothing, and I cherish every single day. In fact, I have greatly benefited from my moderate life.

 

Simple living contains profound philosophy, which is supported by profuse facts. An old Chinese saying goes, “Wine is a poison and lust a knife.” Obviously, it means too much eating and drinking and pruriency will ruin people! There is no shortage of evidence. Many suffer from such “rich people’s diseases” as diabetes and kidney failure. They share the same weakness: the inability to resist the temptation of delicacies.

 

Some further scientific knowledge still reinforces my conviction in the simple life. For instance, take pity on those rich fools who pay through the nose for shark fin soup. Research has shown that a bowl of shark fin soup contains no more nutrition than a bowl of port soup, but the former has more sodium, accounting for 45 percent of the dish. Studies also reveal that sharks have among the highest levels of mercury and other dangerous toxins found in seafood. One TV program showed that shark fin processors must soak the fins in a strong acid liquid to remove the dark and rigid layers of outer skin.

 

Let’s simplify our life for our own health, and for the sake of our world.

 

(The author is an English tutor and a freelance writer.)

 

 

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