One day when I was down in Chinatown many years ago I came across this unusual small wall hanging that I simply had to purchase. It didn’t cost much and for a long time, I thought it would be a good thing to hang in my office at Roosevelt University as a reminder to students that speaking English is still important and quite challenging for some folks.
Typically, I missed the most important part of the message in this well-intentioned wall hanging. I have no idea what the Chinese characters represent because I am that ignorant. But I know what the author was trying to say, which is one of the most well intentioned collections of advice I have ever seen.
Here is how it looks.
As best I can determine, this copyright is held by a company that actually sells gongs, you know, those big ringing ovals of metal that resonate whenever you hit them with a padded hammer. I don’t know if that’s the case, but that’s what the internet presents. More importantly, no matter how it was produced, the message, however tortured the language, is so kind I thought I would send it along this Christmas season.
My interpretation, phrase by phrase:
Don’t be Angry (okay, I get that.)
“Life is a never ending series of people we meet by its means.”
Not so clear, but it think its’ telling us that life creates an endless series of relationships in the process of playing out.
“It is uneasy to keep faithful forever, should we treasure everything we have. Being angry on trivial is unworthy when refresh back.”
I believe this means that when you think back on angers, you will find they were a waste of time, particularly when you look at them in retrospect.
“Don’t be Angry when people angry, no one would be there for you.What is benefit if I were angry? Angers only strain never and energy.”
I think the person is trying to say anger is a waste of time even if everyone around you is angry. It only strains “nerves and energy.” How never got in there, I don’t know, but it doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to read it as “nerves.”
“Don’t compare with neighbors and relatives. Let go offsprings worry their own business. Share every Low and high moment in life, Good partners will be appreciated by God.”
That one speaks for itself, but I think the author wants us to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, even if they are relatives. Your children, it suggests, have the right to their own lives and we should not worry about them. Share your feelings with the people you love. God will like that.
So there it is. it’s faded now and as I said, I have no idea what the Chinese characters represent, but it is one of the most heartfelt messages I have ever read, and not at all about shaky English.