Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Red Boy grinned. “My master is quite clever. If he had been forced to study, he might have gotten himself a scholarship or bursary, and then he would have been able to continue studying. He might have even attended college. But if he had really succeeded, with my master’s character, he would have rather died than return to the mountain to be a monk! My grandmaster was afraid that my master would do too well in his studies and end up escaping…”
When everyone heard that, everyone smiled. Where on Earth would a master harm his disciple in such a way? What an odd master-disciple duo…
“Master, am I right?” Red Boy asked when he saw no response from Fangzheng.
Fangzheng shook his head. “No.”
“Then what’s the reason?” Red Boy asked.
Fangzheng chuckled. “I had roughly the same idea as you in the past. But if that had been the case, why would your grandmaster have worked so hard to send me to school? Since he sent me to school, why would he be afraid that I’d do too well? In the past, I didn’t really understand, but today, after meeting Little Min, I’ve figured it out. Your grandmaster wanted to leave a little inheritance for me…”
“Leave what?” Red Boy was stunned as he asked.
“A free and easy memory of an innocent childhood.” Fangzheng let out a long sigh.
The moment that was said, Red Boy was a little confused. However Shao Gang, Shao Chong, Little Min, and Officer Chang revealed envious looks. Some people left money and property to their children. Some even arranged for a bride while their children were still in the womb. However, were these things really important to a person? Money could be earned. Property could be bought. A wife could be found through courtship. However, who could make up for a lost youth?
“Master, although doing so left you with beautiful memories, some people can only sacrifice their childhood for a future,” Officer Chang said with an infinitely heavy voice. He had sacrificed his childhood to be where he was today. Therefore, he did not agree with Fangzheng’s master’s actions.
Fangzheng said, “That’s right. That’s also why there’s no right or wrong. It depends on one’s choice. To some children, their childhood are times of happiness, innocence, and simplicity. But to other children, childhood can be the most terrifying, depressing, suffocating, joyless period. Their childhood is filled with all kinds of homework, supplementary classes, and tuition classes. They are unable to find any time or space for themselves! Everything about them is abducted by their parents’ ideals and face.”
“That’s for the child’s good,” Officer Chang whispered.
Fangzheng shook his head. “If you aren’t a fish, how can you know whether a fish is happy? Every age group has its corresponding happiness and its own way of life. When something that belongs to a person is destroyed by external forces, all that is left is misery. Humans only have one life with no second chances. If you miss it, it’s gone. The happiness from the past cannot be found again. It has to be said that this is one of life’s greatest regrets.”
“Master, according to what you say, what should a parent do? The present world is like this. If you don’t study hard, there’s no future. With teachers leaving homework and there being supplementary classes after normal classes, by the time they are done, the child is indeed exhausted. But conversely, the people who don’t follow this pattern are squeezed out of society. It’s easy to be overtaken by others. It’s also in a way using the happiness of the present to exchange for the happiness of the future, right?” Shao Gang asked.
Little Min sat by the side listening quietly. She had never heard people talk of such things in the past, but now that she was, she suddenly realized that the world seemed different from what she imagined it to be.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together and shook his head. “This Penniless Monk doesn’t have a solution either. This is an illness of a generation, and a generation’s pain. My master once said that the mortal world is like hell. Being unable to let go is what causes all pain, but if everyone let go, it would cause this world to stop progressing. This is an unresolvable problem for all eternity.”
Shao Gang and company sighed. “That’s right. It’s unresolvable, a problem that we are helpless against. Even when we leave the classroom, faced with the harshness of reality, don’t we still sacrifice a portion of our happiness in exchange for life’s other necessities? In business, although we do not need to do homework, to do better at business it’s inevitable that we eat and drink with clients, sacrificing time which could be spent with family or for our own relaxation.”
Fangzheng said, “My master once said that when you are unable to change the world, why not try viewing things from a different angle and let the world change you? There’s no need to reject this way of thinking because regardless of what you want, your perspective will be changed by the world. However, this process and way of change and the endpoints thereof are things that you can attempt interfering with.”
“Oh?” When this was said, Shao Gang, Officer Chang, Shao Chong, and Little Min looked curiously at Fangzheng.
Fangzheng smiled. “Cultivating the mind and the way of Buddha. Although this world is a materialistic world, the strength of one’s mind shouldn’t be neglected nonetheless. You are unable to use the mind to change material things, but you can use your mind to change your viewpoint of the world, and from there give yourself happiness and motivation. To put it simply, it’s about making whatever you do something interesting, something joyful. From there, you can gain a sense of achievement and obtain even more happiness. Just like Little Min. She doesn’t like studying, but she needs to study. But she was wrong from the beginning. She kept considering how she should surpass others but never thought of surpassing herself! Redefining the measure of success for yourself or repainting the stage of competition will result in you seeing progress by remembering just one additional formula today compared to yesterday. Or memorizing one more poem. That would then be a success.
“Competition can lead to detrimental results. When you end up too exhausted from competing with others, why not quiet down and compete with yourself? Sometimes, surpassing yourself is much more interesting than surpassing others. Of course, a person’s strength is forever limited. If you had had parents, teachers, friends, who were able to show concern over your mental and physical wellbeing and not just your academic results, you wouldn’t have tried to commit suicide today. Officer Chang, that will still require you to do something about it.”
Officer Chang nodded slightly. “Don’t worry, Master. I’ll definitely talk to them about it. The child is already in enough misery, and the family should be an estuary. If one cannot even find warmth in the estuary, that is truly tragic.”
Fangzheng smiled and nodded. “Amitabha.”
At that moment, Shao Gang suddenly smiled bitterly. “Master, after chatting with you for so long, why do I not feel like you are a monk? At the very least, you don’t appear like a proper monk. Are you a fake one?”
Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Oh? Then do I look like a proper monk now?”
Shao Gang shook his head. “I don’t know, but I’ve met many monks. They make me feel the existence of Buddha and the omnipotence of God. Furthermore, they keep talking about Buddha and Bodhisattva. I think that they look more like monks too. Furthermore, I even feel like you don’t really believe in Buddha.”
Fangzheng rolled his eyes. It was true that he didn’t believe in Buddha in the past, but with Red Boy sitting right beside him, he sure believed in Buddha! However, he only believed in the existence of Buddha. Hence Fangzheng said, “Saints seek the heart, not Buddha; fools seek Buddha, not the heart. The clever train the mind, not the body; fools train the body, not the mind.”
The moment that was said, Shao Gang, Shao Chong, and Officer Chang were stunned. They frowned as they carefully ruminated over the statement. The more they thought about it, the more profound they found it to be and the more shocked they were…