Chapter 1: At Home, Be Dutiful to Your Parents
Chapter 2: Standards for a Younger Brother When Away from
Chapter 3: Be Cautious in Your Daily Life
Chapter 4: Be Trustworthy
Chapter 5: Love All Equally
Chapter 6: Be Close to and Learn from People of Virtue and
Chapter 7: After All the Above Are Accomplished, Study Further
and Art to Improve Your Cultural and Spiritual Life
Many of you will probably wonder what
this book is all about. What is in this book that made it so important in
ancient China? Can it still be relevant today? If we teach this book today, what
can it do for us and what kind of influence will it have on our present
Di Zi Gui,
in English, means standards for being a good student and child. It is an ancient
Chinese book handed down to us from ancient Chinese Saints and sages. The source
for the outline of this book was selected from Analects of
Confucius, Book 1, Chapter 6, where Confucius said: ¨A good student and
child must first learn to be dutiful to his parents, and be respectful and
loving to his siblings. Next he must be cautious with all people, matters and
things in his daily life, and be a trustworthy person. He must believe in the
teachings of the ancient saints and sages and put their teachings into practice.
Then he must learn to love all equally and be close to and learn from people of
virtue and compassion. Only after all the above duties have been
accomplished, if he has the time and energy, he should then further study and
learn literature and art to improve the quality of his cultural and spiritual
Since the main outline of
this book is based on the teachings of Confucius, let us find out who he is.
Confucius was a great Chinese scholar, teacher and educator. He was born in
China about twenty-five hundred years ago, about the same time that Shakyamuni
Buddha was born in India. Confucius deeply influenced Chinese culture, and this
influence extends throughout the world even
today. He believed that moral principles, virtues, and discipline should be the
very first lessons to be taught to a child, and that a child needs to practice
them daily. Unlike modern day parents who disapprove of physical punishment,
ancient Chinese parents actually encouraged and thanked the teacher when their
children were punished for misbehaving. It was most important to ancient Chinese
parents that their children learned the moral principles and virtues first,
before any other subject, because without moral principles and virtues as a
foundation, the learning of all other subjects would be futile.
The sequence of ancient
Chinese educational system based on the Confucian teachings is as follows: First
a child learns the subject on Virtues, after which he studies Language, then
Methods in Dealing with People, Matters and Things, and lastly Literature and
Art. We need to understand that Confucius and Shakyamuni Buddha shared almost
the same principles and teaching methods. They both taught us that being dutiful
to oneˇs parents and being respectful to oneˇs teachers are the basis of a
personˇs good virtues. If we can appreciate the fact that the study of Virtues
was a childˇs first subject in school, then we will realize how important it was
for a child to be dutiful to his or her parents at home.
If you ask a student who
follows Confucian teachings whether he or she can explain in a short sentence
what Confucian teachings are all about, the student will tell you this: The
principles of Confucian teachings make it a personˇs duty to strive to be fully
enlightened, to practice universal love and to be a perfectly good person. This
is the summation of Confucian beliefs. For a person to practice universal love,
he or she must begin at home, and learn to be a dutiful child and a loving
sibling. If you ask a follower of Shakyamuni Buddha whether he or she can
explain Buddhaˇs teachings in one sentence, you will get the following reply:
Shakyamuni Buddhaˇs forty-nine years of teaching never deviated from the
principle that a person has to be dutiful to his or her parents, and be
respectful and be of service to his or her teachers. This person must be all
loving and must not kill any living beings. He or she must be a fervent
practitioner of the ten good conducts. Therefore, both Confucius and Shakyamuni
Buddha shared the same beliefs and felt that following these principles are our
only duties here on earth.
The important duties
stated in Analects of Confucius were used as chapters in this
book. Altogether there are seven chapters, with each chapter listing one duty.
They are presented in sequence according to the ancient Chinese educational
system. The original text written in classical Chinese is in the form of verses
that can be easily recited and memorized by young Chinese students.
The contents of this book
were actually compiled and edited over a period stretching thousand of years; it
contains the recommended standards of being a good student and child. The
outline starts out by telling us that those standards were taught by Confucius,
Mencius and all the past Chinese saints and sages. They all agreed that those
duties are the very basic disciplines a child should learn and practice every
day while still young. Even though they seem stringent by todayˇs standards, it
is apparent that the people of that time felt it was important that the child
should be well disciplined and taught moral principles and virtues at an early
age. They felt that without strict discipline and moral standards, a child would
amount to nothing. Without knowing what it meant to be dutiful to oneˇs
teachers, a child would grow up not listening to or respecting anyone. Such a
child would become a person without virtues. At that time, ¨a person without
virtue〃 was not qualified to serve in the imperial court, thereby depriving that
person the opportunity to serve his country and his people.
Ironically today, the
educational system is just the opposite. Many parents listen to the child
instead of the other way around. Additionally, teachers are afraid to teach and
discipline children because they are fearful of violating the childrenˇs legal
rights, or even being sued by the parents. Currently, we live in a world where
the relationships between people, between people and their environment, between
parents and children, between husbands and wives, and between employers and
employees are disintegrating. Parents no longer act like parents. Children do
not act like children. Without proper education our minds become polluted and
our family system disintegrates, as evidenced by an ever-increasing divorce
rate. Soon planet Earth will no longer be fit for us to live on. Many of us are
fearful for our futures and the futures of our children. We hope that by
reintroducing this book, it will provide guidance for parents and children. In
this way, future generations will benefit from it and our world and society at
large will be more at peace, and we will all have a better place to
As mentioned before,
Confucius said: ¨A good student and child must first learn to be dutiful to his
parents, and also be respectful and loving to his siblings.〃 In accord with the
ancient Chinese educational system, this book starts by teaching us how to be a
good dutiful child when we are at home, and how to be a respectful and loving
sibling when we are away from home, including how to be respectful to our
elders. Therefore, these two duties are the headings for the first two chapters.
The first chapter is on ¨Xiao,〃 which is a Chinese word that means being dutiful
to oneˇs parents. All the ancient saints and sages thought ¨Xiao〃 was the most
important duty in a personˇs life. This chapter teaches children the proper
conduct on how to talk to and behave in front of parents, and what their correct
attitudes and manners should be.
The second chapter states
the principle and standard of conduct for the younger sibling towards the older
sibling when the younger siblings are away from home. In Chinese, the word ¨Ti,〃
which means sincere fraternal love, describes the love between siblings. In
Buddhism, its meaning extends further to include conduct towards all persons who
are older and as the same generation as ourselves. This chapter then further
expands this concept towards our elders. It teaches us how to show respect to
the elders and what our correct attitudes and manners should be.
Even though in this book
there is no separate chapter on the standard of conduct towards our teachers, it
is understood that all the principles and standards taught in this book should
also be applied to our teachers.
The third chapter teaches
us how we should be cautious in whatever we do daily, whether we are interacting
with people, matters or things. The fourth chapter teaches us how to be a
trustworthy person. It teaches us that we need to be cautious in the language we
use, in our behavior, and in our thoughts. We must also believe in the teachings
of the saints and sages. A saint is a person who truly and thoroughly
understands the facts about life, and about this universe. In China we call them
saints. In India, people call them Buddhas. In western culture people call him
God. Actually we are all talking about the same thing. All their teachings come
from hearts that were true and pure. They have all seen the truth and this truth
will never change with time. Therefore, no matter who they are as long as they
are saints, Buddhas or God, they speak the same truth and if it is the truth,
then their messages are the same.
The fifth chapter tells us
that a person must love all equally. The love it talks about is universal love,
not worldly love. It teaches us that as human beings we should have compassion
for all people. To be a person of compassion, we must first start by being
filial children: respecting our parents and by loving our siblings. Then we
should learn how to expand this love and respect to include all who are parents
and siblings. Eventually we will learn to love all people equally.
The sixth chapter teaches
us to be close to and learn from people of virtue and compassion. There is an
old Chinese saying that a person with virtue and compassion has no enemies.
¨Xiao〃 and ¨Ti〃 have been the very foundation of Chinese culture for five
thousand years. Those two qualities separate a person from an animal. ¨Xiao〃 and
¨Ti〃 are the minimum requirements for being a human, while compassion and virtue
are the highest standards set by Confucius for being a human. For us to reach
the highest standards, we must first fulfill our duties to our parents. But
where can we find these people who are truly compassionate and virtuous so that
we can be close to them and learn from them? The world today is in great
turmoil. It would be a difficult task if not impossible to find even one person.
If we cannot find that person, the next best thing is to follow the teachings of
saints and sages from the past and learn from them. If we belong to a religious
group, we can always follow the teachings of our religion. We can select from
any one of the groups just mentioned and just follow the respective teachings to
be our guide in this life.
The seventh chapter tells
us that after we have accomplished all the above duties, we should further study
literature and art to improve our cultural and spiritual life. Confucius set a
standard for us as to what kind of books we should read and what kind of books
we should avoid. The kind of books we should read had to have a positive effect
on us. Any book that causes a negative impact should always be avoided.
Confucius expected every one of his students to be a balanced person, whose
inner qualities, like a personˇs virtues and integrity, had to match that of
outside, which were developed from the study of literature and art. Only then
will this person become a truly refined person, with integrity and a noble
According to Shakyamuni
Buddha, we are currently living in the Dharma Ending Age. In this period, people
will be constantly fighting each other. Today, endless conflicts are taking
place everyday. Our current society is the result of our educational system,
which has already been proven to be a great failure. The educational system of
today only promotes teachings that lead our young people to a world of
competition, which will eventually turn them into hell-beings, hungry ghosts and
animals. When we lose our moral standards, and search instead for money and
fame, we leave the world of humans and heavenly beings, and degenerate into a
lower form of being. Therefore, education that is based on moral principles is
extremely important for our world today. This is the only way we can help our
young discover their true self-nature, which is supposed to be all knowing and
virtuous. All the ancient saints and sages recommended that the first step we
must take is to start communicating and working with family members at home.
That is why both Confucius and Shakyamuni Buddha said: ¨Our virtues are based
and build on the foundation of being dutiful children to our parents.〃 This
book, Di Zi Gui, helps our children put the teachings of the
ancient saints and sages into actual practice, and that is why this book is so
important for our educational system today. It is definitely still relevant
today, actually even more so.
Finally we must add a note
here to help us understand these standards. Those standards were used in ancient
China, at a time when the society was centered on the male, and when only the
male child was allowed to enter a school. Therefore, all the pronouns used in
the translation are of the male gender. For todayˇs society, it applies to all
children, both male and female.
Standards for Being a Good
Students and Child
¨Standards for Being a Good Student and Child〃 
was taught by Chinese saints and sages of the
First, it teaches you how to be dutiful to your
parents, and how to be respectful and loving to your siblings.
Then it teaches you how to be cautious with all
people, matters, and things in your daily life, and how to be a trustworthy
person, and to believe in the teachings of the ancient saints and sages.
Furthermore, it teaches you to love all equally,
and to be close to and learn from people of virtue and compassion.
When you have accomplished all the above duties,
you can study further and learn literature and art to improve the quality of
your cultural and spiritual life.
Chapter 1: At
home, Be Dutiful to Your Parents
When your parents call you, answer them
right away. When they command you to do something, do it quickly. When your
parents instruct you, listen respectfully. When your parents reproach you, obey
and accept their scolding; try hard to change and improve yourself and start
anew. In the winter, keep your parents warm; in the summer, keep your parents
cool. Greet them in the morning to show them that you care. At night be sure
that they rest well. Before going out, tell your parents where you are going,
for parents are always concerned about their children. After returning home, go
and see your parents to let them know you are back, so they do not worry about
you. Have a permanent place to stay and lead a routine life. Persist in whatever
you do and do not change your aspirations at will.
Although a matter may be
considered trivial, but if it is wrong to do it or unfair to the other person,
do not do it thinking it will bear little or no consequence.  If
you do, you are not being a dutiful child because parents do not want to see
their child doing things that are irrational or illegal. Even though an object
may be small, do not hoard it. If you do, your parents will be heartbroken. If
whatever pleases your parents is fair and reasonable, try your best to get it
Should something displease your parents, if within reason,
cautiously keep it away from them.
When your body is hurt,
your parents will be worried. If your virtues
are compromised, your parents will feel ashamed. When you have
loving parents, it is not difficult to be a dutiful child. But if you are still
dutiful to parents who hate you, only then will it meet the standards of the
saints and sages for being a dutiful child.
When your parents do
wrong, urge them to change. Do it with a kind facial expression_ and a warm
gentle voice. If they do not accept your advice, wait until they are in a
happier mood before you dissuade them again, followed by crying to make them
understand why. If they end up whipping you, do
not hold a grudge against them.
When your parents are ill,
taste the medicine first before giving it to them.
Take care of them night and day; do not leave their bedside. During the first
three years of mourning after they passed away, remember them with gratitude and
feel sad often for not being able to repay them for their kindness in raising
you. During this period you should arrange your home to reflect your grief and
sorrow. Avoid festivities and indulgence in food and alcoholic
Observe the proper
in arranging their funerals. Hold the memorial ceremony and commemorate their
anniversaries with your utmost sincerity. Serve your departed parents as if they
were still alive.
Standards for a Younger Brother When Away from Home
Older siblings should
befriend the younger ones, younger siblings should respect and love the older
ones. Siblings who keep harmonious relationships among themselves are being
dutiful to their parents.
When siblings value their
ties more than property and belongings, no resentment will grow among them. When
siblings are careful with words and hold back hurtful comments, feelings of
anger naturally die out. Whether you are drinking, eating, walking, or sitting,
let the elders go first; younger ones should follow. When an elder is asking for
someone, get that person for him right away. If you cannot find that person,
immediately report back, and put yourself at he elderˇs service instead.
When you address an elder,
do not call him by his given name.
This is in accord with ancient Chinese etiquette. In front of an elder, do not
show off. If you meet an elder you know on the street, promptly clasp your hands
and greet him with a bow. If he does not speak to you, step back and
respectfully stand aside. Should you be riding on a horse and you spot an elder
you know walking,
you should dismount and pay respect to the elder. If you are riding in a
you should stop, get out of the carriage, and ask if you can give him a ride. If
you meet an elder passing by, you should stand aside and wait respectfully; do
not leave until you can no longer see him.
When an elder is standing,
do not sit. After an elder sits down, sit only when you are told to do so.
Before an elder, speak softly. But if your voice is too low and hard to hear, it
is not appropriate. When meeting an elder, walk briskly towards him; when
leaving, do not exit in haste. When answering a question, look at the person who
is asking you the question.
Serve your uncles as if
you are serving your parents; Treat
your cousins as if they are your own siblings.
Chapter 3: Be
Cautious in Your Daily Life
Get up in the morning
before your parents; at night, go to bed only after they have gone to sleep.
When you realize that time is passing you by and cannot be turned back, and that
you are getting older year by year, you will especially treasure the present
When you get up in the morning, wash your face and brush your teeth. After using
the toilet, always wash your hands. You must wear your hat straight,
and make sure the hooks
of your clothes are tied. Make sure socks and shoes are worn neatly and
correctly. Place your hat and clothes away in their proper places. Do not
carelessly throw your clothes around, for that will get them dirty.
It is more important that
your clothes are clean, rather than how extravagant they are. When with an elder
or people of importance, wear what is suitable for your station. At home, wear
clothes according to your family traditions and customs. When it comes to eating
and drinking, do not pick and choose your food. Eat only the right amount; do
not over eat. You are still too young, do not drink alcohol. When you are drunk,
your behavior will turn ugly.
Walk composed, with light
and even steps. Stand up straight and tall. Your bows should be deep, with hands
held in front and arms rounded. Always pay your respect with reverence.
Do not step on doorsills.
Do not stand leaning on one leg. Do not sit with your legs apart or sprawled
out. Do not rock the lower part of your body while sitting down.
Lift the curtain slowly,
do not make a sound. Leave yourself room when you turn to make sure you do not
bump into a corner.
Hold carefully empty
containers as if they were full.
Enter empty rooms as if they were occupied.
Avoid doing things in a hurry, as doing things in haste will lead to many
mistakes. Do not be afraid of difficult tasks, but do not become careless when a
job is too easy. Keep away from rowdy places, and do not ask about things that
are abnormal or unusual. When you are about to enter a main entrance, ask if
someone is inside. Before entering a room, make yourself heard, so that those
inside know someone is approaching. If someone asks who you are, give your name.
To answer ¨It is me〃 or ¨Me〃 is not clear. Before borrowing things from others,
you must ask for permission. If you do not ask, it is stealing. When borrowing
things from others, return them promptly. Later on, when you have an urgent
need, you will not have a problem borrowing from them again.
Chapter 4: Be
When you speak, honesty is
important. Deceitful words and lies are not allowed. Rather than talking too
much, it is better to speak less. Speak the truth, do not twist the facts.
Cunning words, foul language, and bad habits must be avoided at all
What you have not seen
with your own eyes, do not readily tell to others. What you do not know for
sure, do not readily pass on to others. When asked to do something that is
inappropriate or bad, do not promise lightly.
If you do, you will be
wrong either way. When speaking, make the words clear and to the point. Do not
talk too fast or mumble.
Some like to talk about
the good points of others, while some like to talk about the faults of others.
If it is none of your business, do not get involved.
When you see others do
good deeds, think about following their example. Even though your own
achievements are still far behind those of others, you are getting closer. When
you see others do wrong, immediately reflect upon yourself. If you have made the
same mistake, correct it. If not, be extra cautious not to make the same
When your morals, conduct,
knowledge, and skills are not as good as others, you should encourage yourself
to be better. If the clothes you wear, and the food you eat and drink are not as
good as others, do not be ashamed.
If criticism makes you
angry and compliments make you happy, bad company will come your way and good
friends will shy away. If you are uneasy about compliments and appreciative of
criticism, sincere and understanding virtuous people will gradually be close to
If your mistake is not
done on purpose, it is only an error. If it is done on purpose, it is evil. If
you correct your mistake and do not repeat it, you no longer have the mistake.
If you try to cover it up, you will be doubly wrong.
Love All Equally
Human Beings, regardless
of nationality, race, or religion-everyone- should be loved equally. We are all
sheltered by the same sky and we all live on the same planet Earth.
A person of high ideals
and morals is highly respected. What people value is not based on outside
appearance. A personˇs outstanding ability will naturally honor him with a good
reputation. Admiration from others does not come from boasting or praising
oneself. If you are a very capable person, use your abilities for the benefit of
others. Other peopleˇs competence should not be slandered. Do not flatter the
rich, or despise the poor. Do not ignore old friends, and take delight in new
ones. When a person is busy, do not bother him with matters. When a personˇs
mind is not at peace, do not bother him with words.
If a person has a
shortcoming, do not expose it. If a person has a secret, do not tell others.
Praising the goodness of others is a good deed in itself. When people approve of
and praise you, you should feel encouraged and try even harder.
Spreading rumors about the
wrongdoings of others is a wrongdoing in itself. When the harm done has reached
the extreme, misfortunes will surely follow. When encouraging each other to do
good, the virtues of both are built up. If you do not tell others of their
faults, you will both be wrong. Whether you take or give, you need to know the
difference between the two. It is better to give more and take less. What you
ask others to do, first ask yourself if you will do it. If it is not something
you will do, ask not others to do it. You must repay the kindness of others and
let go of your resentments. Spend less time holding grudges and more time paying
back the kindness of others.
When you are directing
maids and servants, you should be respectable and dignified. Even though you are
respectable and dignified, treat them kindly and generously. If you use your
influence to make them submissive, their hearts will never be with you. If you
can convince them with sound reasoning, they will then have nothing more to
Chapter 6: Be
Close to and Learn from People of Virtue and Compassion
We are all human, but we
are not the same. Most of us are ordinary; only a very few have great virtues
and high moral principles. A truly virtuous person is greatly respected by
others. He will not be afraid to speak the truth and he will not fawn on others.
If you are close to and learn from people of great virtue and compassion, you
will benefit immensely. Your virtues will grow daily and your wrongdoings will
lessen day by day. If you are not close to and learn from people of great
virtue, you will suffer a great loss. People without virtue will get close to
you and nothing you do will succeed.
After All the Above Are Accomplished, Study Further and Learn Literature and Art
to Improve Your Cultural and Spiritual Life
If you so not actively
make use of what you have learned, but continue to study on the surface, your
knowledge is increasing but it is only superficial. What kind of person will you
be? If you do apply your knowledge diligently, but stop studying, you will only
do things based on your own opinion, thinking it is correct. In fact, what you
know is not the truth.
There are methods to study
correctly. They involve concentration in three areas: your mind, your eyes, and
your mouth. To believe in what you read is equally important. When you begin to
read a book, do not think about another. If you have not completed the book, do
not start another. Give yourself lots of time to study, and study hard. Given
time and effort,
you will thoroughly understand. If you have a question, make a note of it. Ask
the person who has the knowledge for the right answer.
Keep your room neat, your
walls uncluttered and clean, your desk tidy and your brush
properly placed. If your ink block
is ground unevenly, it shows you have a poor state of mind.
When words are written
carelessly, showing no respect, it shows your state of mind has not been well.
should be classified, placed on the book shelves, and in their proper places.
After you finish reading a book, put it back in its right place. Even though you
are in a hurry neatly roll up and bind the open bamboo scroll you were reading.
Any missing or damaged pages are to be repaired. If it is not a book on the
teachings of the saints and sages, it should be discarded and not even be looked
at. These other books can block your intelligence and wisdom, and will undermine
your aspiration and sense of direction.
Neither be harsh on
yourself, nor give up on yourself.
To be a person of high
ideals, moral standards and virtue is something we can all attain in
 Select from Analects
of Confucius, Book⒐, Chapter 6. It was taught by
Confucius, Mencius, and other Chinese saints and sages of the ancient
¨Ti〃 have been the very foundation of Chinese culture for five
thousand years. Xiao ¨У〃 means to be dutiful to oneˇs
parents with affection, and to understand the basic relationship of
grandparents, parents and self. In ideogram form, xiao has two components- the
top part of xiao is the top portion of the word elder ¨ρ〃 and the bottom part is the word
son ¨.〃 Combined, it implies
that the older generation and the younger generation are one: that there should
be no gap between them. In Buddhism, the meaning is further extended. Outside
the family, the child should treat every male and female of the parentsˇ
generation as if they were the childˇs own father and mother. Ti
¨〃 means sincere
fraternal love. Here it is used more as the principle and standard of conduct of
the younger brother towards his older brother when the younger brother is away
from home. In Buddhism, its meaning also extends further to include conduct
towards all older persons of any one generation.
 〃To believe in the
teachings of the ancient saints and sages〃 means to actually practice and put
the teachings of the ancient saints and sages into effect.
 For example, in
Buddhism, it is considered breaking the precept of not stealing if you borrow a
piece of paper or take someoneˇs pen without permission. It is considered
breaking the precept of not killing if you kill an ant or mosquito. If you lie
or talk about someone behind his back, you have broken the precept of not lying,
 Your parents will be
saddened by your actions, because if their child behaves in such a way when he
is still young, then he will probably twist the law in order to obtain bribes
and be a curse to his country and his people when he grows up.
 If what pleases your
parents is illegitimate or unreasonable, you should tactfully dissuade your
parents, and tell them the reasons why they should not have it.
 You should lead your
parents to proper views and understanding of things.
 Virtues are standards
and principles of one’s conduct. In China a man’s conduct is ruled by “Wu Chang”
“Wu Chang” are the five moral principles: kindheartedness
proper etiquette 禮,
“Ba De” are the eight virtues: duty to parents
respect for elders悌,
a sense of honor廉,
and a sense of shame恥.
 In ancient China, when
a child did not obey the parents, the parents were allowed to discipline the
child. If a child refused to be disciplined, the parents had the right to ask
the authorities to have the child executed.
 Chinese people take
herbal medicine prescribed by Chinese doctors. Herbs are boiled with water to
make a liquid medicine. Before giving such medicine to oneˇs parents, a child
should taste it first to make sure it is not too hot or too bitter.
 In ancient China,
etiquette for funerals was set by the emperor.
 When our parents were
alive, we should have treated them with our love and respect. After they pass
away, we should arrange their funerals with our deepest sorrow. For all the
subsequent commemorations and anniversaries held, we should show our love and
respect as if they were still alive.
 Parents are happy when
their children get along with each other. This is one way children can show they
are dutiful to their parents.
 In Ancient China, a
male person had at least two names. The first name was the ¨given name,〃 which
was given to him by his parents when he was born. A second name was given to him
by his friends when he reached the age of 20, at a ¨Ceremony of the Hat〃 given
in his honor to announce his coming of age. After that only his parents called
him by his ¨given name.〃 Everyone else, out of respect, including the
emperor, could only call him by his second name. The only exception was if he
committed a crime. During sentencing, he would be called by his ¨given name.〃
 In Ancient China, most
people used horses or carriages as their means of transportation.
 There is an old
Chinese proverb: ¨A unit of time is as precious as a unit of gold, but you
cannot buy back one unit of time with one unit of gold.〃 It means that time is
really very precious, as no amount of money can buy time.
 In ancient China, when
a male wore a hat, it meant he had passed the age of becoming an
 In ancient China, in
place of buttons, people used hooks. When dressed, hooks had to be
 In ancient China,
people paid their respect to other people by bowing, holding one hand over the
other which is closed, or prostrating on the ground.
 In ancient China,
curtains were made of bamboo strips woven together. They were used to shelter a
room from view.
 Even though a
container may be empty, out of reverence to things, whether living or not, one
should treat it with respect and handle it with care.
 In ancient China, a
virtuous man always behaved properly, regardless of whether he was alone or with
 If you do not
understand part of book you are reading, read it again and again, even for a
thousand times. Its meaning will come to you naturally.
 ¨Brush〃 here means a
Chinese writing brush.
 ¨Inkstone〃 is a stone
stand used for the preparing and holding the ink used in Chinese brush
 ¨Ink block〃 is a solid
ink piece. A person grinds it with water against he inkstone to make ink for
writing Chinese brush calligraphy.
 Here ¨books〃 refer to
books on laws, constitutions, and the structural systems of a