<>b>Wisdom from Books

<>b>Wisdom from Books
Stephen Lau's website on getting your wisdom from books.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Anything Is Everything

ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING

What is meant by “anything is everything”?

It may have different meanings and different interpretations to different individuals.

First of all, human perceptions are subjective and individualized: they are affected not only by the five senses, but also by the unique experiences of an individual, as well as by the indelible memories of those experiences retained in the mind of that individual. Therefore, what is important to you may not be as important to others, and vice-versa. For this reason, anything could be everything to you, but not to others.

An illustration

Near the end of 2016, a road rage occurred in Arkansas that ended in the tragic death of a 3-year-old child. 

A woman, with her 3-year-old grandson sitting at the back of her car, stopped at a stop sign. A man in the car right behind honked her for not starting her car immediately, but the woman honked back; thus the road rage began with the man firing a gun shot at the back of the woman’s car.

Stopping too long at a stop sign, or wanting to get to a place on time might be everything to the man. Having the right to remain where she was might also be everything to the woman, so she naturally honked back.  

Unfortunately, that anything-is-everything incident ended in tragedy—the death of the woman’s three-year-old grandson being shot dead while sitting at the back of her car.

In real life, anything could be everything to real people—it all depends on their respective perspectives of anything is everything.
            
Another illustration

In 2012, a Chinese couple from Hong Kong filed a lawsuit against an education consultant in the United States for $2 million dollars, who promised that he could—but ultimately did not—get their two sons into Harvard University. 

The couple had used “improper” but maybe still perfectly “legal” means to get their two sons into Harvard University.

Getting into an elite college or university may be everything to many students, including their parents. Some might even resort to doing anything in order to achieve that goal, which is everything to them.

A similar illustration

A pastor from Hong Kong was invited to give a sermon in China. A woman from the congregation asked the pastor if it was “right” to give money to get her son into an elite school in China. The pastor replied by saying: “Your son getting into that elite school would also imply depriving another child of that same opportunity you are seeking for your child.”

A year later, the pastor met the same woman, who told him that her son had got into that elite school but without using her kwganxi or connection. The pastor then said to her: “See, God is in control; if you would just let Him.”

Now, what is your own take on “anything is everything”?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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