Saturday, August 14, 2010

[ISS#2] Should We Thank The Sun Or The Moon?

Another inspiring article that circulates around the internet; originally in Chinese.

A joke that I’ve heard lately: A teacher asked her young student, “Which is more important: the sun or the moon?”

The child answered: The moon.

Reason: The sun comes out during daytime when we don’t really need light.  On the other hand, the moon comes out during nighttime when we do need light.

Think a little deeper into this joke and you will see the irony of it.

First, let’s break down the joke: Why it is light during daytime?  It’s because of the sun.  In fact, life on earth wouldn’t be possible without the sun.  Sunlight provides plants photosynthesis allowing them to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and emit life-giving oxygen in its place.  Plants then become a food source for other life forms and that’s how the cycle of life started.

What about the moon? It may be a partner of the sun.  It doesn’t emit light but instead reflects the sun’s.  Without the sun, the moon cannot shine.  So why would the child feel that the moon is more important?

The answer is quite simple; it’s because that the sun is too bright.  It’s so bright that we forget where the light comes from.  It’s obvious that the sky would brighten up during daytime.  And the moon?  With the darkness of the sky, we notice and admire the moon so much more even though it only reflects a tiny portion of light from the sun.

We too, make the same mistake of the child in many of our interpersonal relationships.  We often take our close ones for granted when they threat us with love and care.  We would however thank others who do the tiniest favor for us.  Maybe when one helps others regularly, one’s devotion becomes a matter of course in others’ eyes.   If one does a little bit less one day, some might even complain about it.  However, when a ruffian who commits all sorts of crimes does a good deed all of the sudden, we would say: “maybe he/she is not that bad after all.”

I’ve heard this real life example: A young housewife had been working restlessly without any appreciation from her husband and child.  One day she got sick and stayed in hospital for two weeks.  Those two weeks were like hell to the husband and child as they realized how much work was needed to be done at home.  Even with their relatives’ help, they barely got the job done.  Appropriately, the husband showed much more respect and gratitude for his wife when she returned.

There was a young girl who has a boyfriend who was compassionate and respectful to her.  Later, she met and chose a “cool” guy over her boyfriend.  So I asked her and she said: “Honestly, he was good and all but he just wasn’t that exciting to be with.  Also, he has no backbone.”

I shook my head in my mind.  I knew both of them and I knew that the girl wanted to marry a rich guy; she dreamed that a rich guy would take care of her.  A few months later, the rich guy broke up with her.  I listened to her recalling on how good her first boyfriend was as she wept.  Hopefully, she will realize who she should really cherish in the future.

There are tons of similar examples.  Hopefully we can review our interpersonal relationships and thank those  we overlooked just like the bright sun.

I do know that the moon is also very important to us.  Without the moon, the earth's rotation would be much faster and life on earth would be totally different than it is now.  However, the sun and the moon comparison is just a metaphor to bring out the message.

Original article (in Chinese)

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