A birthday letter to Guang Yi

wuming-1Dear Guang Yi,

Today is your 24th birthday, when I look back what have happened to you and I in the last 24 years, starting from how I was touched by watching the unselfish and noble blind musician gave sincere appreciation and his money to a group of young musicians who I saw in the Bistro in Antwerp on the warm summer day, few hours before you were born, and those mostly painful memories with that “P” family that I had in those years after you were born; everything is so clear as if it’s happened just yesterday.

I don’t know where are you now are and how are you doing, because I did not hear from you since our last telephone conversation when you asked me whether I knew that you love me.  At that time I really did not, and still do not, know how to answer that question.  Because Guang Yi, I am afraid it is the question that you have to answer to yourself honestly, I can’t answer that question for you.

Yes, on your birthday Ivo and I can’t offer you gift to make you happy, because we are not as rich as your father and you should have known for long time that we can’t and choose not to satisfy you with the material or luxury life style that you would like to have.  It is not just we can’t afford it, but also we believe it should be something that you work on your own.  Indeed I lost everything that I have worked hard for the family started from 1991, but I found myself back from the unspeakable pain.  I hope one day even if when you are becoming rich, I hope you won’t forget to ask yourself the following critical questions from time to time:

  • Can you buy time? buy love? buy youth? buy health? How much does a life really worth?
  • What does family really mean to you and to your family?
  • You probably will have many ‘friends’ around you when you are strong and rich, but how many are true friends? What does true friendship really mean?

Often people, including those polices from the victim-support unit who helped us during the most difficult period of that we shared in 2002-2004, appraised me for my strength and braveness and asked me how I managed to live through those horrible time and evil actions that your father and his parent put me through since the day you were born in 1992 till I finally decided to accept there was nothing that I could do to save for the family at end of 2004.  For that I really grateful for the moral teachings from my parents particularly my father (your grand-father), from Chinese traditional moral teachings, from tea and the exercises of Daoyin Qigong.

On your birthday, I would like to share with you one of many moral standards and wisdom that I learnt from your grand-father:

image3901貧賤不能淫, 富貴不能移, 威武不能屈, 此之謂大丈夫也. 《孟子·滕文公下》

One can’t be lusty by facing poor or low-down;

One can’t be shifted by being attracted by rich or rank;

One can’t be crooked by encountering might or fierce;

These make a man, a man.

《Mencius, Teng Wen Gong Xia》

It would be a life time reflection to find the enlightenment for the following questions:

  1. What is lusty and how to avoid being lusty;
  2. What is shift and how to avoid being shifted;
  3. What is crook and how to avoid being crooked.

When my father passed away, he did not leave me any money but he has already gave me the most valuable love and learning in my life that helped me lived through those years of difficulty.  The Chinese traditional moral teachings and wisdom helped me to find my strength from inside, knew who  I am and what kind of person I want to be with a clear consciousness, peace and ease in my heart. Your grand-father named you before you were born, it’s pitty that you and Guang-Ren never had the pleasure to know your grandfather in person, but I do hope his priceless moral teaching can also help you two to find your way.

Always remember and be proud that you are grand-son of General Hsiao Li-Gui.

Love from your mother, Hsiao Mei Lan 21/7/2016