Stream Of Life Theory

Submitted By stustone12
Words: 1246
Pages: 5

Lin Yutang

1. The stream of life theory, as applied to the family, makes the phenomenon of immortality concrete. For example, the grandfather looking at his grandson allows him to see himself living again. His own life, is merely part of a great family tree that continues into the future. 2. For the traditional Chinese parent, therefore, the most important concern is to see one's children well married. If the stability of the family can be fully expected to continue through good marriage than the parent has realized his/her major achievement in life. 3. Because the stress is not on the individual as such the idea of success and failure is seen in a different light. The Chinese ideal is to live so that one is not a disgrace to one's ancestors [past] and to have sons of whom one is not ashamed [future]. (Discuss negation) 4. So even if one is successful in one's self and life, if one's son fails one's own failure is ab_______. Contrast this to a (traditional culture) widow who through perseverance and even persecution is able to see her son of five years old succeed: her ________ is absolute. 5. This type of family model, when successful, is satisfying on a profound, biological level. This is why for Confucius, the final goal of government is to make sure that all our human instincts are satisfied. Only if this is first achieved can there subsequently be genuine, m___l peace, i.e. peace that is stable and based on the human h____t. (What point is Confucius trying to make here?) 6. The traditional Chinese family system places primary on the young and the old - since they depend on ______ for their welfare. When compaing the old as opposed to the young, the latter have the advantage of greater vibrancy/being able to bounce back. The child has more sp______ty than the old person and no necessary awareness of material hardship. The child is not yet a slave to h___t and so, in a word, s/he is not yet int_____ted by life. So, ultimately, the old are more dependent than the young because their fears are more def___and their desires are more delimited (why `delimited’?) 7. In traditional Chinese culture, there existed a sense of chivalry not towards women or children but rather towards the ____. In this light, it is said that a natural man loves his children but, by contrast, it is a cultured man that loves his parents. That is, one has to t____there to be a love and respect for old people. 8. Because so much emphasis was put on filial piety, if a man had a life well lived than he could look at his old age as being his happiest. Instead of trying to postpone it as much as possible. (Here contrast Eastern and Western lifestyles) 9. In traditional China, when one asks someone on a formal visit about his age one’s respect and enthusiasm for one's visitor grows in proportion to the latter's page. In fact if one is over 50, then the literal tone of one's voice of the person asking about one's age immediately drops in humility and respect. 10. In traditional China, the old have the privilege of talking while the young must listen and be silent. Men of 20 are supposed to listen when people of 30 of talking, and in the same way those of 30 must listen to those of 40. In this tradition, therefore, no one is favored in so far as everyone has the chance of becoming old. (Is this a good tradition? Debate) 11. The Author is therefore absolutely shocked when he hears a grandmother in the West/America saying that the first grandchild hurt - in the sense that it made her feel old. 12. Lin Yutang makes the point that - in the context of a more traditional, Western society -he can understand the emphasis that is sometimes put on youth (e.g. not wanting to appear too old to be able to handle a job or worrying that one is going to remain lonely and an old maid) but he insists that this emphasis on youth and the associated pattern of life is absolutely nonsensical. It stems, he feels, from the western