As a child, I was forced to learn Chinese characters. My parents told me that it would be "good for me." Little did I know what they really meant! Knowing some of the basic Chinese characters was beneficial not only for understanding the language, but it helped me understand the Chinese (and by extension the Korean) culture.
You may have already known this, but some Chinese characters were developed in a pictographic form - the characters looked like the object they represented. For example, the character for 'fire', 火, is a pictographic representation of two flames above a pair of logs. The same is true for the character for 'person', 人, which represents the two legs and a torso of a human body.
In order to create more complicated meaning, the Chinese combined characters. Let's start off with an easy example. This is the character for a tree (木). If you want a forest, all you do is write three trees together (森)!
One of my favorite combinations in Chinese is an extremely simple one that carries a profound message! In order to get the word for 'good' (even 'excellent') one only needs to know the character for a woman (女) and child (子)! If you combine these two, indicating that a woman is with a child, then you get the character for 'good' (好)!
The history behind this character can be found in Chinese culture! In ancient China, children were considered to be the parents' creation. Therefore children were loved unconditionally - whether or not they were dutiful or rebellious, diligent or lazy, beautiful or ugly. For them, having a family was a good thing because it brought joy and happiness!
Isn't that a tremendously powerful thought? It's sad that in our culture, a woman with a child is not always seen as a good thing. Rather than seeing a child as a blessing that brings joy, they are often seen as a burden that can be strategically removed.
I believe that a lot can be learned from this simple character and its heritage. Thank you for sharing the "好" message with your listeners through "Life Issues®" with Brad Mattes. I'm sure that it's changing lives, encouraging people to make the "good" choice.
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