For Others

Yutang Lin

What one can enjoy personally are only bits and drips;
A lifetime's toiling eventually is all for others indeed.
Recognize this fact early, not to hoard in stingy ways.
On occasion hand suitable gifts out to make all merry.


Mind abides in clarity; one's behavior naturally stays within proper bounds. Thus what one can partake of is indeed very limited. Toiling of a whole lifetime yields fruits that are, sooner or later, naturally and mostly enjoyed by others. Recognize this fact early, lest one vainly plans on hoarding and remains reluctant to make use of belongings. It is only proper to practice alms-giving generously on occasion so that things are suitably made use of and people are made merrier.

Written in Chinese and translated on March 14, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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