Wang Kun began to ruminate over the matter. After finishing dinner, Wang Kun suddenly asked, “Master, tell me. Do you think a person has to study to be successful?”
Fangzheng had often pondered over this question back when he was a student since he was not a child that enjoyed studying. Only when he became One Finger Monastery’s abbot did he realize the true goal of studying. Therefore Fangzheng sat up straight and looked amiably at Wang Kun. “Patron, This Penniless Monk went to school in the past. Back then, This Penniless Monk did not enjoy studying either. There was always the thought that children shouldn’t be cooped up in a tiny classroom. The world outside is so huge, so why shouldn’t a person spread their wings and soar?”
“That’s right,” echoed Wang Kun.
“Later This Penniless Monk became abbot only to realize that This Penniless Monk only knew parts of the Buddhist scriptures. When many devotees asked me questions, This Penniless Monk was unable to provide answers according to the scriptures. It was then that This Penniless Monk realized what it means to regret not acquiring enough knowledge only when the time for it comes.”
“This Master, are you implying that one should still study?” Wang Kun felt a little disappointed.
However, Fangzheng shook his head.
“Master, what do you mean then?”
Fangzheng smiled and returned with a question. “Are you a good student?”
Wang Kun thought about it and shook his head. “No. At the very least my parents, teachers, and classmates believe I’m useless when it comes to my studies.”
Fangzheng looked at the resigned look on Wang Kun’s face and continued asking, “Then, are you a basketball expert?”
Wang Kun immediately turned spirited. He looked up, and looking like the king of the basketball court, he said as though everything was beneath him, “Definitely! In my school, no one will dare claim first if I claim to be second at basketball!” The moment he said that, he blushed since Chen Wei was always challenging him for supremacy.
Fangzheng continued asking, “Why are you good at basketball? Why are you so much better than others?”
Wang Kun did not even need to think as he immediately answered, “Simple. I’m able to endure suffering more than others! There was a period in time when the basketball never left my hand. I practiced daily, shooting basketballs at a rate countless times more than the rest. In addition, I have large amounts of NBA videos. I have all the highlight videos of all the experts. I also have all kinds of sources of training and tutorial resources. I even attended a youth training class”
Wang Kun babbled on about all the hard work he had put into basketball for half an hour. Fangzheng kept smiling as he looked at Wang Kun, only to say with a faint smile after he was done, “Then Patron, do you think studying is useless?”
Wang Kun was stunned as he looked straight at Fangzheng. He thought about himself and looked down at his hands. He scratched his head embarrassed. “I get it. Studying is useful, very useful. However, I just went astray.”
Fangzheng extended his palm to show to Wang Kun. “Patron, please look. Are all my fingers of the same length?”
Wang Kun shook his head. “Master, some fingers of yours are long, some others are short. How can they all be the same length?”
“Are they of the same thickness?”
Wang Kun shook his head again.
“Are they used for the same thing?”
Wang Kun shook his head again.
“Is it alright not having one?”
Wang Kun continued shaking his head. “Master, stop pulling my leg. How weird would it be to not have one finger?”
Fangzheng nodded in satisfaction. “That’s right. Fingers can be long and short, thick and thin. They have different uses and are all different. You don’t want to have any missing, and you can’t belittle the usage of any finger. It’s the same with humans. Everyone is born different. Everyone has their independent soul, their independent way of thinking and preferences. They have varying degrees of strengths, making everyone have something they are good at. Everyone also has their own weaknesses. And since time immemorial, people have extolled their strengths and hidden their weaknesses so as to showcase their greatest value. There is no such thing as going astray in this world. Going astray depends on the individual. As long as the path you take is the one you wish to take, and you continue persisting, you will not feel any regret regardless of the outcome. That is a complete life. Who has the authority to say that the life that satisfies you is a wrong one?”
Wang Kun was rooted to the spot when he heard that. Moments later, he suddenly laughed as tears rolled down his cheeks. Then a bright-looking boy sat there crying. As Wang Kun cried, he said, “Master, you are the first person to tell me this. You are also the first person to accept me for who I am. You don’t know how f**king terrible it is for me to be in school! My teachers think of me as a troublemaker, and my classmates think of me as a ruffian. My classmates’ parents think I’m a gangster. My parents think I’m a bastard son who can’t get his act together F**k, can’t I like basketball? Can’t I have the hobby of playing basketball? Why does it seem like I have offended the entire world because of that?”
After Wang Kun cursed, he ran to get a can of beer and began guzzling it down.
As Fangzheng listened, he looked at Wang Kun silently. All he did was accompany him.
Lone Wolf looked at the two humans and shook his head. Having been satiated, he jumped onto the sofa and chose a comfortable position to sleep.
Wang Kun finished the can of beer in one gulp before calming down. He looked straight at Fangzheng and asked, “Master, what will be the outcome if I continue to persist on?”
“What is an outcome?”
Wang Kun was lost. Yes, what is an outcome? After some thought, he said, “I want to be a professional basketball player.”
Fangzheng smiled. “Since you have a goal, why ask This Penniless Monk?”
Wang Kun was stunned before he laughed. “Yes, I already have a goal. Why should I need to ask you? Why should I care how people look at me? I’ll do it! Haha! Master, I now know why that dog is so clever.”
This time, it was Fangzheng’s turn to be stunned. “Why?”
“Because he followed an excessively intelligent master!”
Fangzheng was immediately rendered speechless. To think that he was being sucked up to. Worst of all, he was very happy receiving the praise. Indeed, he was degenerating for the worse.
That night, Wang Kun was clearly very excited. He insisted on chatting with Fangzheng as Fangzheng bitterly accompanied him to the wee hours before they fell asleep.
The next day was Sunday. Wang Kun had the day off, so he got up early in the morning to wash up, make breakfast, and tidy the house. His diligence reminded Fangzheng of himself. Perhaps Wang Kun was not great at his studies, but no one could deny that he was a good child! A person’s character was not determined by their educational results!
“Master, we will be going to have a match at the Yanchang compound today. Are you going?” Wang Kun asked while eating.
“That person there doesn’t seem to welcome you.”
“It depends on our luck no matter where we go. We aren’t welcomed wherever we play basketball. I just don’t understand. A basketball court is meant for people to play basketball. If we don’t shout while playing, is that still basketball? They are allowed to shout while playing mahjong, but we are not permitted to play basketball Anyway, we are used to it. We will just employ guerrilla tactics. We will play when there’s a chance, scattering when we are chased away.” Wang Kun did not take the matter to heart.
Fangzheng did not mind either, so he decided to be a spectator. Up to now, he had still not figured out what his mission was! He did not wish to stay his entire life at Wang Kun’s house.