Close to Reality

Yutang Lin

High ideals could easily move people upon hearing;
Under careful scrutiny they're deemed inapplicable.
One-sided wishful reasoning might sound plausible,
In oblivion of difficulty involved in each step taken.


Propagation of ideals often readily moves people. Nevertheless, in the reality of the world each step taken always involves some degree of difficulty. Not in touch with reality, such vain words lack real benefits. Unfortunately, some speakers and their audiences all seem to be unaware of the inapplicability. "Embrace your enemy" shows more than just tolerance; if the opponent would not accept it, then what to do? "Forgive everything" is easily said; unless one has practiced it for a very long time, who could actually achieve it? "Let grudges and gratitude be bygones" might be expected wholeheartedly; when causal chains are still connected, how could their consequences be nullified? Only practitioners that are used to taking solid steps could sense the cracks upon hearing such sayings. Real benefits will be gained only when one puts more into practice and less into boasting. A few reminders are offered above with the hope that we would all refrain from making such mistakes.

Written in Chinese on August 8, 2003
Translated on August 9, 2003
El Cerrito, California

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