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October 13, 2021

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Understanding will change the world

Love, peace, kindness, … they all begin with understanding. Understanding is a very versatile idea and can be applied to personal, tender moments between yourself or your loved ones but also to whole countries, their leaders and their interactions.

The story Fu Jing Qing Zuì conveys a strong point about misunderstandings and humility that can be analyzed to learn various lessons and truths about our world.

For context, the story is set in a time period with multiple countries in conflict for power. Lin Xiangru and Lian Po were both generals of the same state. When Lin Xiangru returned from a conference he was promoted to a high-ranking official for his excellence (a rank above that of Lian Po). The latter was not pleased with these developments and he complained that he had done much more on the battle field and that Lin Xiangru didn’t deserve this position. He went as far as to deride Lin’s origins and say that if the two ever meet Lian Po would surely humiliate Lin Xiangru. After this statement Lin Xiangru avoided Lian Po at all costs, and because of this he received much scorn from all classes and ranks for his “timidity.”

Later we come to find out that the reason he has been avoiding Lian Po is not fear but rather- bravery. Lin Xiangru came to the realization that if he and Lian Po were to turn against each other that would signal a point of weakness to the (very powerful) Emperor of Qin and he would surely invade Zhao. His act of avoidance was one of selfless thought for his state. Once Lian Po heard Lin Xiangru’s reasoning he felt incredibly guilty for his mockery and approached Lin Xiangru with a humble apology and declaration of his wrong doing shown by bearing sticks on his back. The two later became close companions and they protected Zhao for many years. This story, however short has ample examples of understanding. It demonstrates how misunderstandings can cause conflict and how mutual or personal understanding leads to agreement and peace.

Take this truth and apply it to any hardships you or our world is facing. I can guarantee that to some degree at least, it is bound to provide a deeper insight or different perspective to the problem. Understanding each other and ourselves more would lead to a kinder, more loving and peaceful world and I believe that’s why “understanding” has and will change the world.


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