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Beyond Prosperity: 5 Values We Can Pick Up from the Chinese Culture

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

As Filipinos, when we think about our Chinese counterparts, we often associate them with wealth, business, and frugality (“pagiging matipid”). We’re not completely misguided though.

Chinese traditions and rituals are often done to bring prosperity. Just take the literal meaning of the common Lunar New Year greetings as an example: “Gong Xi Fa Cai” and “Kung Hei Fat Choi” both wish the receiver prosperity and good wealth in the year to come.

This image of the Chinese having a penchant for getting rich is an interesting take on their culture, but it is so much more than that. The Chinese culture is rich in centuries-old wisdom that has been embedded in their virtues and beliefs – good values that could be beneficial if we adopt these in our lives.

Here are five values we can pick up from the Chinese culture that can help us live a fuller life.

  1. Have an open mind. Open-mindedness is a positive force that can allow the possibilities to flow freely and can help you realize what it is that you want to achieve in life. Having an open mind provides a setting to get innovation and creative ideas rolling, which can lead you to the next big opportunity that can change your life for the better.

  2. Be flexible, “Cha Bu Duo”. Roughly translating to “close enough,” this expression gets a bad rap in a professional setting because it often produces substandard work results. However, when you apply it to your personal life, it has a positive effect on the mind. Essentially, it teaches you that not everything in life has to be such a big deal because not everything will turn out perfect or just the way you want it to be. It can help you think more practical, be flexible, and be tolerant, especially when you encounter unfavorable situations.

  3. Adopt the concept of “Chi Ku.” Literally translating to “eat bitterness,” it refers to the virtue of persisting through hardships. Instead of complaining about the difficulties we face, we must see it as a natural way of life, and persevere to move forward even when it is very challenging.

  4. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. It’s one thing to set a goal and dream about achieving them, it’s another to take action to make it come true. “Fortune favors the bold,” they say, so we must be brave and chase our goals even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone. The perfect example of courage is Chinese immigrants, who migrate to another country in hopes of greener pastures and seek their fortunes there.

  5. Be dedicated to achieving your goal. As a famous Chinese proverb goes, “Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.” Determination, diligence, and hard work are important values to Chinese culture as they believe possessing these can contribute to a happy and fulfilling life.

As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, let us look past the well-wishes of prosperity, reflect on these values, and strive to imbibe some of them in hopes of living a fuller and more meaningful life.

Photo by Lad Hara Caingcoy

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Jane Pasol
Jane Pasol
05. Apr. 2022


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