家和万事兴 [jiā hé wànshì xīng] aka Family Harmony

Chinese idioms are not a mere representation of Chinese language, culture and identity but they allow each and everyone of us to derive some valuable lessons by understanding its underlying message. Through this “家和万事兴” [mandarin: jia-he-wan-shi-xing or Cantonese: ka-wo-man-xi-heng], I have finally able to capture the importance of family harmony. Through direct translation, it defines when a family is able to harmoniously get along, everything at home will enjoy the infinite prosperity. Again, what does prosperity means? It can be children having a conducive environment to study and both parents’ job is smooth-going and everyone living healthily.

This proverb/idiom indicates that when there is no arguments within the family, every members are respecting, knowing how to bear with each other, understand every members will enjoy each other company, going towards the right direction, knows the importance of each family member. Harmony means having a significant positive energy at home. The word ‘家’ refers to home, ‘和’ means harmony, ‘万’ defines thousands, ‘事’ refers to matters while ‘兴’ means happiness- Every matter will be alright and everyone will be happy if there is harmonious within the home. I know sometimes it is difficult to tolerate with the people you are living together- whether you like what they are not doing or not. However for the sake of providing a complete family is to give and take, you can’t expect everyone to agree what you are doing or force everyone to disagree their own opinions. You do compromising. You discuss and you peacefully agree or disagree and came into the final best conclusion which ultimately provides diplomatic-type of relationship. When a home is not harmonious, everyone is put off in doing anything- nobody has the mood to even perform properly whether it is chores, study, going for exam, doing jobs and especially communication becomes distorted. This is when people in the family are not in their right mind to think properly before they speak but that doesn’t mean they don’t care for each other. At the second stage, they continue to fire up because they are exhausted from the first stage of arguing. Therefore, their mouth has no intention to hurt each other. Yet, the brain cannot be calm down, think before they speak.

When you see destructed families that can be successfully build back into harmonious ones, it is fortunate that they realize love is the main priority, no matter what everyone made sacrifices. Love is a powerful subject. If you can’t change your thinking despite of love, if you can’t change your perception and let go, things will become more difficult- not just one family member but every members in the family. Nobody likes fight, arguments and criticism but sometimes you have to listen what others have to say before you quickly made assumptions and puzzle what you think that suits your way. A home doesn’t work this way- no one is against or backing up whoever rather everyone tries their best talking about fair judgement. If you are mad at your family for behaving something that is not right, you tell them and try to make them understand your approach.

Sometimes when I am angry, I asked myself:” What did I do wrong?” and “What did the other person do wrong?” “Is it the end of the world after he/she committed such sin?” “What would others do and what should I do to not let such argument happen in the future?” Have I really been unreasonable? or do I just wanted to be in control?” “Why am I holding this problem so long?” “Why can’t I let go?” I kept emphasizing that it is no doubt that people will make mistakes but no point of bringing the unhappiness level further up. A home is not a home anymore when everyone is ignoring one another- it may be worst when one family member is shouting to the others but what’s worst is that everything cannot be fixed, you can’t show love and affection to one another because long fights/arguments have embedded in our mind vividly. They do affect relationships, whether people learn from them is a different story but I think these negative actions will definitely ruin the harmonious in the family.

People who are not involved in the fight may be affected too, particularly teenagers. They are not matured enough to think what the adults are up to. They are also genuinely mice trapped in a cage, waiting to be experimented. Imagine if they have no one to consult and no one to turn to blurt out their disheartening emotions, they may be persuaded by friends who also think that they should leave their unhappy family and continue to live in hatred of the people who have created such commotion. Thus, one problem creates another problem and when no one steps in to help and solve- the home is officially dead.

You see why 家和万事兴 (family harmony) is imperative, it is to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy comfort and share any laughter or sorrow from outside of home. It is always the perspective that plays our mind. Something prevents us from thinking straight and we are clouded with non-sense imagination which created more misunderstanding at home. I hate that when there are conflicts at home, everyone virtually become strangers and this not only initiated people at home to seek outsiders for help but every conflicts become staged- there are mixed of lies, doubtfulness, trust and loyalty. There is never a single thing when it comes to fights, one argument always leads to a new one. Just like what we see in soap operas, the never ending fight is like an unresolved entity. Please remember that family is the most important people to us, especially close family. You can’t hurt each other, even if you do, you have to get them back quickly. If you are someone who is being hurt by family member, you have to judge logically and give them time to change themselves. Family members are people too, no matter how close they are to us- we can’t force them to do something that they are unhappy with, just like how we don’t force our friends when they are not willing to do the things that we want them to do.

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