Ancient Tales of Wisdom brings you: The Importance of Etiquette – a story of kindness, respect and loyalty

May 27, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Asia, Children's Stories, Culture, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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[from: Ancient Tales of Wisdom]

Xiao Yixin toiled every day, without ever showing any trace of complaint.

Xiao Yixin toiled every day, without ever showing any trace of complaint.

Welcome back to SOH Radio Network, the home of Ancient Tales of Wisdom.  Hello everyone, this is Grace Mann, to share another great little tale of wisdom with you all.  This storyline gives wonderful worth- as to how we can all continue to improve ourselves, our surroundings and the lives and situations of others. Our tale today is entitled:  The Importance of Etiquette.

Xiao Yixin, the wife of Liao State (916–1125 A.D.) official Ye Lunu, was known for displaying the traditional virtues of a Chinese lady. Her father was the emperor’s son-in-law and her mother was Princess Hutu. Xiao Yixin, was a beautiful lady both on the  inside and outside- she was married at age 20 and in every way  respected and loved  her parents and her family unit.

One day, Xiao Yixin was chatting with her sisters-in-law who were talking about how to win their husbands’ love by dispelling wicked spirits. Xiao Yixin suggested, “Etiquette is better than any such practice.” Her sisters-in-law asked why. Xiao Yixin replied, “If we pay attention to self-cultivation and proper behaviour, if we take good care of our elders and show respect to them, if we are gentle to our husbands and tolerant of our juniors, we will be living with etiquettes and decorum. When we accomplish all of this, we’ll naturally gain kindness, love and respect from our husbands. If, on the other hand, we resort to some untoward practice to win favour, aren’t we going to feel guilty that we haven’t earned our worthiness righteously and at the same time be deceiving our husbands?” Hearing Xiao Yixin’s words, her sisters-in law felt embarrassed and ashamed.

In later years, her husband, Ye Lunu, was exiled on a false accusation. Since Xiao Yixin was the daughter of a princess, the emperor wanted Xiao Yixin to divorce her husband. But she pleaded to the emperor, “Your Majesty It is really gracious of you, to be considerate of my relationship to you, and try to save me from suffering in exile with my husband-however, a husband and wife should follow moral principles–they should be together in both good and bad times, until death they do part. I was married to Ye Lunu when I was young, and if I now leave my husband when he is facing difficulties in his life, that will run counter to basic behavioural principles and I would be no different than an animal. I hope Your Majesty will show mercy to us and  allow me to go with Ye Lunu. I will have no regrets, even if I die in exile.” Moved by her pleading remarks, the emperor gave his consent.

At the place of their exile, Xiao Yixin and her husband toiled every day, without ever showing any  trace of complaint. In fact, Xiao Yixin was even more kind and respectful to her beloved Ye Lunu.

The lasting marriages, mutual respect and support for each other in times of need that the ancients had –are now merely what to-day’s people long for.

Traditional morality and etiquette, the bonds that have maintained and governed human relations for thousands of years, have been lost in the delusion of our so called modern world. Respect, morality, graciousness and gratitude—were the key elements for the harmony between a husband and wife, that the ancients cherished. In today’s society these aspects of respect – are overlooked and lacking, and for the overall majority relatively rare in our modern families.

The author concludes this story with a though for us all to ponder – and that is: Why have marriages become increasingly more fragile in today’s world?

Thanks for the opportunity to share these words of the wise with you again today.  We here at SOH Radio Network very much value our ongoing connection with each and every one of you.

Until we’re together again, may our every yesterday, today and tomorrow be filled with conscious awareness to the importance of etiquette-both within our family units, and all environments.

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