Appreciating Who You Are


Recently, my wife taught me a fun little Japanese proverb that I wanted to share:

Ten wa nibutsu wo ataezu

This means “Heaven does not grant two things”. Here the notion of Heaven is not the Judaeo-Christian notion, but rather the Confucian principle of order, creation and goodness in the Universe.

The meaning of this proverb though is that a person usually doesn’t have two talents, two virtues, etc. Everyone has something they are good at, or some good quality about them. The point here, though, isn’t to judge others but rather to appreciate what talents and virtues one does have, and to also be patient with the faults of others.1 There are many skills that one can learn in their lifetime, but it’s pretty unusual to meet someone who has two genuine talents, virtues, etc.

Anyhow, something cool to share. 🙂

1 Better to focus on one’s own faults anyway. As the Analects of Confucius says:

[19:21] Zi Gong said: “The faults of the noble man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon— everyone sees them. But when he corrects them, everyone looks up to him.”


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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