Question 3

In all my years being your student I have witnessed how you successfully bring out the best in people. That is really an inspiration for me and it would be wonderful to have that skill so I can apply it to every relationship that I have. Many times, it is specially challenging with family. Could you please share with us your secret?

Santi
Answer

This is an interesting and important question that compels me to look more closely on my philosophy of life. I believe that a person’s attitude towards life, like whether he brings out the best in other people, looks at life negatively, or indifferent to what is happening around him, depends much on his life philosophy, which in turn depends on his environment and upbringing.

If a person ‘s life is difficult since childhood, and he came from an environment and education background that restrict his professional and intellectual expansion, it is unlikely that he looks at life favorably. On the other hand, if his life is full of luxury and he is well protected by his government and society, he may become bored, resulting in his being indifferent to life.

I happened to come from a good family and educational background that nurtured a healthy attitude towards life. My family was poor which meant that I had to put in effort to succeed. I came from a very good school, considered by many people as the best school east of the strategic Suez Canal, which provided me opportunities for learning and leadership;.

Hence, I developed a very good philosophy of life. I knew that we had to put in a lot of hard work if we wanted to succeed. I was also a leader in my schooldays, being the captain of my school table tennis teams, the chairman of the Art Club, an instructor of the school swimming club, the President of the school lion dance team, and an assistant scout master of my scout group.

My scouting days also enabled me to be joyful towards life. I clearly remember that Scout Law number eight demands that “a scout smiles and whistles at all times.” Hence, even in times of difficulties, I maintained a joyful spirit.

Most importantly, I practiced very good kungfu from the best masters I could find. My kungfu training, which included chi kung, not only gave me good health, vitality and longevity, but also mental clarity and a lot of internal force. Thus, I had good ingredients to put into practice my wholesome philosophy of life.

Basically, I find life is a joy. Everyday is our birthday. But we need to know how to find the joys and beauties of life, and also realize that there is also a lot of suffering. We need to know the limits of our abilities. There is much suffering and injustice that are beyond our control. If we can right wrongs, we would do so., but we can still find the joys of life despite its sufferings. This principle is in line with the teaching of Zen, that Zen practitioners can live in societies without being contaminated by societies.

An important ability to find the joys of life is to find joys in our daily duties. Our daily duties are not only joyful, but also beautiful. You are more likely to find joys and beauties in your work if you appreciate the truth that the job you do provides you the source to feed yourself and your family if you have one, as well as to provide a roof above your head at night. If you are a boss, appreciate the truth that the people who work for you, provide you a comfortable life.

When you return home, appreciate the fact that your wife or husband is not the person who just happened to marry you, but is the person who sacrifices the best part of her or his life for your well being. If you are not married, it is time to get a good husband or a good wife. There are literally thousands of men and women around you. You just have to make a good choice.

I was lucky to have a good family and educational background to develop a healthy philosophy of life. For those who are not so lucky, those who came from difficult or luxurious background, and whose philosophy of life is unhealthy, can change their philosophy of life to become healthy. It is easier than changing your job, or changing your house. But it still needs effort,.

(Continued from Part 2)