The word people when written in Chinese character would be: 人 (ren). I realized that we people need others to be able to stand firm and not fall down as the Chinese character was written in such a way that there are legs to represent a person. I was writing the word人 when it hit me that the word would slide down if not for the other end. I just gained an insight about how people should work together, support one another instead of finding fault. This is not the etymology of the word though. Years back, I had an attempt to study the etymology of Chinese characters and even visited our library and found a book that talks about the history of the words. I had a little background on some words during our high school class but those were pretty basic. I found an interesting site online by Richard Sears about his research on the etymology of the Chinese characters tracing back to the different styles of writing and the era that covers the particular writing such as the LST Seal (六書通), Bronze character (金文) and Oracle character (甲骨). I’m pretty familiar with the Oracle character because I’ve watched a few traditional drama series which involves characters searching and collecting Oracle characters found in wood. Usually, I would see old characters in paintings or old poems. Learning the old characters is fun because you’d be able to find how the words evolved through time and how creative the people before were in expressing things in written form by drawing and then transforming them to the way they are written now.

Coincidentally, the word for patience or forbearance is also pronounced as ren -忍 and the word for “benevolence and humanness” is also pronounced as ren -仁 . I think it is important to cultivate these two qualities. They could help as develop control and have compassion to others.


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