Warm heart counters bad temper

City Talk | 5 Jul 2016

In the late 1890s, a Mr Carpentier hired Dean Lung, a Chinese migrant, as a servant, who followed him back to New York.

Due to his temper tantrums, he had fired many of his previous servants. Dean Long encountered the same fate. Carpentier often verbally abused Dean Lung and fired him over something trivial.

Sometime later, Mr. Carpentier's house caught fire. He was unharmed, but suffered a great loss.

Dean Lung heard about it and came to visit him. He told Mr Carpentier that he would serve him again. Mr. Carpentier was shocked and asked him the reason why.

Dean Lung said: "There was a sage named Kong Zi (Confucius) and he taught people the Tao of Zhong Shu, or loyalty and forgiving. He even said: 'Do not do onto others as you do not want others to do onto you.'

"Now, your house was burnt down and you are living alone and helpless. I had served you before and I felt sorry for you. That's why I want to offer myself to help you of out this predicament."

Mr Carpentier was moved after hearing this and treated Dean Lung like a friend. He never verbally abused Dean Lung again.

Mr Carpentier said: "I did not know that you liked and understood ancient teachings." Dean Lung replied that he was illiterate and what he knew was told to him by his father.

Mr Carpentier was surprised and replied: "It is good that your father liked to study ancient teachings."

Dean Lung replied: "My father was also illiterate and so were my grandfather and great grandfather. However, Confucius's teachings were embedded in our family's tradition and were passed down from generation to generation."

Later, Dean Lung became seriously ill. He told Mr Carpentier: "I live without families and have no worries. I am about to leave this world. The entire wage you gave me is in my savings. Since I have neither family nor friends, I would like to give this money to you in gratitude for your kindness all these years."

Mr Carpentier was touched and decided to donate the money, plus some of his own, to establish the post of Dean Lung Professorship for special studies of Han teachings.

In the department of East Asian Studies at the prestigious Columbia University, there is a post for special studies of Chinese culture and Han teachings called the Dean Lung Professorship, which was established and funded by Horace Walpole Carpentier in 1901 to commemorate Dean Lung, his illiterate but noble Chinese servant.

Mr Carpentier (1824-1918) was born in New York City, graduated from Columbia University and later became a lawyer. He served as the first mayor of Oakland, California. In 1888, he returned to his hometown of New York City and was elected to the board of trustees of Columbia University.

Mr Carpentier even wrote a letter to the president of Columbia University to talk about Dean Lung: "Dean Lung came from a poor family. He is not a legend, but a real living being. I say so because I was fortunate enough to encounter someone who was from a humble family, but had a noble character. He was born kind and had never hurt anyone."

The president of Columbia University agreed to name the position the Dean Lung Professorship.

This is a vivid example of how kind- hearted Feng Shui can contribute to changing the world.

Kerby Kuek has published 15 books on Feng Shui, inner alchemy, Taoism and metaphysics. He can be contacted at www.kerbykuek.com

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