In a Monday tweet, Elon Musk wrote “humankind,” followed by the 1,800-year-old classical Chinese poem The Quatrain of Seven Steps.
Here is the poem translated into English by Moss Roberts:
Beans a simmer on a beanstalk flame
From inside the pot expressed their ire:
“Alive we sprouted on a single root—
What’s your rush to cook us on the fire?”
The verses were attributed to Cao Zhi, the son of famous warlord Cao Cao, who lived between 192 and 232 during the Three Kingdoms period.
After Cao Cao’s death, his oldest son Cao Pi succeeded him to become an emperor. Cao Pi was jealous of his younger brother Cao Zhi’s literary talent and wanted to find an excuse to kill him. One day, Cao Pi ordered Cao Zhi to make a poem about their fraternal relationship within seven paces, and pledged to have the younger brother executed if he failed. Cao Zhi then made the bean-themed verses on the spot, alluding to Cao Pi’s cruel attempt to murder his own sibling. Cao Pi, feeling ashamed, eventually let Cao Zhi go.
Elon Musk’s mom on raising successful kids: “I tell them I did it by teaching them about hard work and letting them follow their interests.”
I became a single mother of three when I was 31. I never felt guilty about working full-time, because I didn’t have a choice. Taking care of my children was the top priority; I worked hard to keep a roof over our heads, food in our stomach, and basic clothes on our back.
I started working for my dad when I was eight years old. We lived next door to his chiropractic, where my mom helped him, too. My twin sister Kaye and I were paid 5 cents an hour to help him mail out his monthly bulletin.
I brought my children up like my parents brought us up when we were young: to be independent, kind, honest, considerate and polite. I taught them them importance of working hard and doing good things. I didn’t treat them like babies or scold them. I never told them what to study. I didn’t check their homework; that was their responsibility.
When they went to college, they lived in quite poor conditions: mattress on the floor, six roommates or a dilapidated house. But they were fine with it. If your children aren’t used to luxuries, they survive well. You don’t need to spoil them. Once you’re sure your kids are in safe situations, let them look after themselves.
Image courtesy Pinterest, pileequotes.blogspot.com, and thenewsguru.com