Xīnlíng de kuāndù, bùshì nǐ rènshíle duōshǎo rén, ér shì nǐ bāoróngle duōshǎo rén.
The essence of our soul is not measured by how many people we know, but by how many we can tolerate.
A powerful Chinese proverb, indeed. One that needs a bit of soul searching to figure out its hidden meaning, indeed. Religions teach us how to love, respect & tolerate every living thing around us, but not necessarily to a degree where every detail is spelled out in literal form. Sometimes, it takes soul searching to really find what it truly means to us.
If we look at ourselves in the mirror and put a “Malaysian Idol” rating on ourselves without any bias whatsoever, the one of the first few answers to the question we need to be clear about is “how many can we tolerate”. How much do we tolerate, in terms of indifference. From the perspective of culture and mindset. Are we then ready to give great ratings to ourselves, as examples to society and our children, through our everyday doings?
This Chinese proverb teaches us not only about maintaining your cool in difficult situations, just like a few other Chinese proverbs you can find from my blog here, but also a measure of who we really are as an individual in a community or people around us.