Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“Master, Patron Li Xueying is here.” On the tree, Squirrel, who was sprawled over the window of his huge mansion, shouted when he saw Li Xueying walking over slowly.
Fangzheng was taken aback. Why could Li Xueying have come at this moment?
About ten minutes later, Fangzheng had another person beside him. Just like Fangzheng, the person had her head turned sideways, as they watched the raindrops drip.
“Venerable One, can today’s weather be described as having clear skies with the sun shining high?” Li Xueying looked at Fangzheng in a peeved manner.
Fangzheng blushed as he coughed dryly. “Patron, you have to see the essence of the phenomenon before you. Behind the clouds are blue skies. Above the blue skies is the sun shining high. Life is like the weather. If you keep staring at the frustrating rain, your life will end up frustrated. If you think about the blue skies and sun that follow the rain, your mood will naturally be better.”
“Venerable One, do you believe that there’s any meaning to saying such things now?” retorted Li Xueying.
Fangzheng shook his head. “It’s meaningless.”
“Then why did you say it?”
“What else can I do? Do you want This Penniless Monk to say that he got face-smacked today after posturing yesterday?” Fangzheng looked pitifully at Li Xueying.
Li Xueying burst out in laughter when she saw Fangzheng’s expression. “Venerable One, did anyone tell you that you look really cute this way?”
Li Xueying held back her laughter as she stared intently and asked, “Venerable One, be honest. Were you aware that there would be changes today?”
“About the sun shining high?” Fangzheng naturally knew what Li Xueying was asking about. However, he had no plans on giving a direct answer. Be it about being prescient or about the effects of his blessing, Fangzheng had no plans on elaborating. Firstly, because it would be difficult to explain it well. Secondly, no one might believe him even if he did! After all, in this present day and age, things seen at face value might not be true. Technology changed so rapidly that things could be very unpredictable, with all kinds of means being available. If he were to start being thought of as a cheat, that would be bad.
Li Xueying stared at Fangzheng as he cocked his neck and watched the roof. After a moment, Li Xueying turned around and hugged her knees while looking at the bodhi tree. “The spammers are no longer criticizing me. They suddenly stopped early in the middle of last night. Even I do not know why.”
“Good people deserve kindness,” said Fangzheng.
“Then, should I be a good person to the end? How about I donate all the money I earn?” asked Li Xueying.
Fangzheng was taken aback. “Donate it all? What will you do in the future if you donate it all?”
“Work hard? It’s not like my reputation is in the gutter. All I need to do is work on a few more film projects.”
Li Xueying spoke simply, but Fangzheng, who had seen the way Li Xueying filmed her movies, thought otherwise. Perhaps certain celebrities had an easy time filming movies—all they needed to do was show their face and appear on the scene. However, Li Xueying was the type of person who would take on the job seriously and personally. She absolutely refused using a double, even though it was common for the filming to extend late into the night. Therefore, it could be said that her money and reputation had not come out of nowhere. They were the outcome of her hard work.
If one had money, who would be willing to fill their life with work?
In any case, this was Li Xueying’s choice. It was not appropriate for Fangzheng to say anything, so all he did was smile.
“Venerable One, do you think doing so would be bad?” asked Li Xueying.
“Patron, what do you think goodness is?”
“Helping others is goodness, I guess?”
“To what level of help can it be considered goodness?” asked Fangzheng again.
“Of course the more, the better,” answered Li Xueying in all righteousness.
Fangzheng shook his head. “This Penniless Monk does not think so. In every era, the definition of goodness keeps changing. This Penniless Monk might not be correct, but he believes that if a person does not do harm to society or harm others to benefit himself, that is goodness. If this person is able to help others, that is a higher order of goodness. And if this person can do something for society at large, that is an even higher order of goodness.”
“I can understand that, but how is that different from my claim that the more you give, the better?” Li Xueying was puzzled. She felt that donating all her money to charity would already be the best kind of goodness.
Fangzheng smiled. “Patron, This Penniless Monk does not advocate the sacrificing of oneself to do good. This Penniless Monk believes that under the circumstances of not affecting your own life and the pursuit of your personal life goals, helping others to the best of one’s ability is goodness. That is true goodness. Otherwise, if all people were to help others only to lose everything themselves, to the point of becoming the ones that require help, it would only cause society to constantly deteriorate instead of improve.
“You selling everything and becoming penniless before working hard to earn money again might not be a good thing. Perhaps your reputation is worth a lot, allowing you to earn money fast, but similarly, there are plenty of things on which you need to spend money in great quantities even faster.
“Everyone’s abilities and standing in society are different. The angle from which they do good is different as well. For example, you are an international celebrity. If we talk about donating money, perhaps the amount you donate might be more than anyone else, but will that result in the best effects?
“Helping the poor can be done by helping them materially, but they can also be helped spiritually.
“If possible, This Penniless Monk wishes that you earn more money, so that you can produce better movies. Sometimes salvation on a spiritual level might be more important than on a material level. Similarly, money can be chosen to be donated to help a small, fixed number of people, but you can also choose to film movies with that money and help countless people. Without money, how are you to film anything? Without capital, you would have no means to determine your own fate and choose what to film.
“Of course, what This Penniless Monk says might not be absolutely right. Faced with people in urgent need of money to save lives, they should still be given priority. After all, only with people alive can there be consideration towards a pursuit of spiritual bliss.”
“I kind of get it,” Li Xueying said in rumination.
Fangzheng nodded his head with all his might. He clenched his teeth from his hurting neck as he flipped through the movie reviews on his cell phone.
With the afternoon showing ending, City-Toppling Beauty’s comments and reviews began to turn warm. There were more and more good reviews, but due to the spam war, the movie’s ranking was still low. Therefore, there were not many people commenting. But overall it was still a good matter.
However, it was at this moment that a piece of news popped out.
“War in the Middle East erupts once more. Terrorism has struck once again. Last night, another war began in Afghanistan.”
“An exchange of gunfire last night killed nineteen people.”
“A father’s silent cries as his daughter lies in his arms.” A picture was posted of a middle-eastern man hugging a three or four-year-old girl covered in blood. Set against complete ruins, he could be seen wailing with his head raised.
“We were once splendid. Afghanistan’s past.” There were two aerial video footages. The first one was a video of Afghanistan’s past, and the oher of present Afghanistan. The world before the war was so beautiful. Lights shimmered in the street as people celebrated peace. But when war descended upon them, everything ended. There was no electricity or water. Missiles could land from the sky at any moment. No one knew if they would be able to survive the night safely.
Yesterday’s humans had become today’s ghosts. The radical change was like a dream.
Upon seeing this, Fangzheng felt his heart choke up as he pressed his palms together and said, “Amitabha.”