This morning I wrote the history of the character 敬 RESPECT from Bronze script(almost picture like script) to grass script(the most cursive writing). In bronze script, which is the earliest of form of Chinese characters, the word 敬 is made by combining two characters: 1)The left part: a picture of a dog whose ears are upright as if he is listening well ; 2) The right part: a picture of a hand holding a stick.
So it could mean making someone or a dog… to listen with a help of a stick. Hmmm… sounds a bit forced, right? I thought of this for a while, and thought to myself that respect does not come super naturally to me. I have to strongly will myself to listen and pay attention to other’s will or desire. If not my instinct is to listen to what I want, what I need, or what I feel.
I was reading the book of Job in the Bible in which the protagonist, Job, is going through an unimaginably rough time. In a dialogue with his friends, he ask, “where can wisdom be found?” He is just trying to make sense of why he has to suffer so much, I think. He concludes by saying that “Respecting God is the wisdom.”
I think people can have different definition of “who” or “what” God is. Without having to define this concept, I can say that wisdom has everything to do with relationship with someone or something. What if one of my goals of art is to help myself to respect others better?