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2. Self-Restraint / Self-Control
3. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
4. Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial
5. Impartial and Fair to the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World
無我 is a more common way to say selflessness in Japanese. This literally means “no self,” or a better translation might be “not thinking of oneself.” 無我 is also understood in Chinese and Korean. 無我 is a very old word in CJK languages.
無我 is the word a Buddhist would use to express the idea of selflessness or unselfishness. For Korean Buddhists, it can mean self-renunciation.
See Also: Altruism
無私 would be literally translated as “none self” in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
It is used to express “selflessness” or “unselfish.”
無私 is a popular term for the idea of being selfless or unselfish in modern China and Japan.
This term is not as commonly used in Korea but still has good meaning.
克己 can be translated as “self-denial,” “self-abnegation,” “self-restraint,” “self-discipline,” “self-mastery,” or selflessness.
As a tenet of Korean taekwondo, and other martial arts, this is often used with the title “self-control.”
克己奉公 is a Chinese proverb that is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)
This can also mean: “Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service.”
The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu, who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.
Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things honorably. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.
Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as “ke ji feng gong.”
See Also: Unselfish | Selflessness | Altruism
大公無私 is a Chinese proverb that comes from an old story from some time before 476 BC. About a man named Qi Huangyang, who was commissioned by the king to select the best person for a certain job in the Imperial Court.
Qi Huangyang selected his enemy for the job. The king was very confused by the selection, but Qi Huangyang explained that he was asked to find the best person for the job, not necessarily someone that he liked or had a friendship with.
Later, Confucius commented on how unselfish and impartial Qi Huangyang was by saying, “Da Gong Wu Si” which, if you look it up in a Chinese dictionary, is generally translated as “Unselfish” or “Just and Fair.”
If you translate each character, you'd have something like
“Big/Deep Justice Without Self.”
Direct translations like this leave out a lot of what the Chinese characters really say. Use your imagination, and suddenly you realize that “without self” means “without thinking about yourself in the decision” - together, these two words mean “unselfish.” The first two characters serve to drive the point home that we are talking about a concept that is similar to “blind justice.”
One of my Chinese-English dictionaries translates this simply as “just and fair.” So that is the short and simple version.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean, but it's not a commonly used term.
See Also: Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common Good | Altruism
一視同仁 is how to write “universal benevolence.” This is also how to express the idea that you see all people the same.
If you are kind and charitable to everyone, this is the best way to state that virtue. It is the essence of being impartial to all mankind, regardless of social standing, background, race, sex, etc. You do not judge others, but instead, you see them eye to eye on the same level as you.
See Also: Benevolence | Compassion | Equality | Justice | Right Decision | Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common
Beyond benevolence, 仁 can also be defined as “charity” or “mercy” depending on context.
The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).
仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject that Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.
I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, goodwill, or simply “love” in the non-romantic form.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
These search terms might be related to Selflessness:
...And This Above All to Thine Own Self Be True
Better to Sacrifice Your Life Than Your Principles
Changing Oneself / Self Reformation
Consciousness of Self
Inner Strength / Self-Improvement
Introspection / Self-Awareness
Jiko No Kansei / Self-Completion
Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient
Prideful Mind / Self-Respecting Heart
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
Self Awareness Becomes a Buddha
Self-Discipline / Will-Power
Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Oneself
Self-Respect / Self-Esteem
Self-Restraint / Self-Control
To Thine Own Self Be True
Will-Power / Self-Control
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|muga||wú wǒ / wu2 wo3 / wu wo / wuwo|
|mushi||wú sī / wu2 si1 / wu si / wusi||wu ssu / wussu|
|克己 / 剋己|
|kokki / koki||kè jǐ / ke4 ji3 / ke ji / keji||k`o chi / kochi / ko chi|
|Work Unselfishly for the Common Good||克己奉公||kè jǐ fèng gōng|
ke4 ji3 feng4 gong1
ke ji feng gong
|k`o chi feng kung
ko chi feng kung
|Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial||大公無私|
|dà gōng wú sī|
da4 gong1 wu2 si1
da gong wu si
|ta kung wu ssu
|Impartial and Fair to the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World||一視同仁|
|yí shì tóng rén|
yi2 shi4 tong2 ren2
yi shi tong ren
|i shih t`ung jen
i shih tung jen
|Benevolence||仁||jin||rén / ren2 / ren||jen|
|sutemi / suteki||shě jǐ / she3 ji3 / she ji / sheji||she chi / shechi|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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