It's all in the family for harmony

City Talk | 17 Jan 2017

Another Confucian scholar who was a model of filial piety was Min Sun.

Min, who is listed in the Analects of Confucius as one of the foremost disciples, hailed from Lu, the home state of the master himself, which is in Shandong province.

The story of Min's renowned respect for all things family began when his mother passed away due to illness, and his father remarried.

They then had two sons.

His new mother, preferring her biological offsprings, made new wadded jackets for her two sons but only a thin coat padded with cattails, instead of cotton, for her stepson.

One day in winter, his father ordered Min to ride the cart.

Due to the bitterly cold weather, Min was shivering so badly that he dropped a rope.

That caused his father to look more closely at the causes of his behavior.

When his father found out the reason why his son was shivering so badly, he wanted to divorce and throw his wife and Min's stepbrothers out of the house.

Min pleaded with his father not to do so, saying: "If you keep my stepmother, it is only me who feels the cold; if you divorce her, it's the three of them who will get cold."

His father saw the wisdom of his thinking and refrained from acting against his wife.

When the stepmother heard of how his stepson had pleaded her case, she repented and changed her ways.

From then on, she treated him like she would her biological sons.

Min Sun's actions in this regard are celebrated in poetry, with one verse praising him thus:

The Min family has a saintly son,

Who never resents his stepmother;

Before the cart he has begged his father to let his stepmother stay;

Three children are saved from wind and frost.

In previous columns, we have tried to make the point that constant quarreling among family members prevents them from enjoying good luck cycles.

This week we see a respect that turns resentment into positive energy and a win-win situation, with antisocial behavior changing very much for the better in a way that is conducive with the creation of harmony and luck.

Stop any feelings of resentment from forming if you want your luck and feng shui to change!

We often take resentment to the extreme, and we see cases of monster parenting, deliberate challenges against authority on the streets and so on collectively causing Hong Kong to lag in many sectors as well as a slowdown in the economy.

If only people can act more like Min, then better things will await us.

Kerby Kuek has published 15 books on feng shui, inner alchemy, Taoism and metaphysics. He can be contacted at

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