Inequality, Pain and Love


In most families, some the siblings harbor the feeling of unequal treatment or favoritism practised by the parents. Some children express it openly but some harbor this feeling throughout their lives, without giving it expression.

In Chinese families when parents encounter such complaint or expression of frustration from one of their children they normally reply this way: ‘If the hand is stretched out and any two fingers …….. are bitten on, both the fingers will feel the same pain’.

This is to indicate that both the children are their own and the love shown is the same and of the same intensity. That the perception of favoritism is definitely untrue.

Sometimes this declaration is made in a plain manner, at others it is made with melodrama. This may be a way to gauge the truthfulness of their statement.

The ancient sages sure had beautiful ways to express their feelings.

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2 thoughts on “Inequality, Pain and Love

  1. Nairobi says:

    Ah this is something i could relate to very well….
    m the middle one of the 3 siblings and i always had a feeling my parents loved the eldest and the youngest very much….Somehow i feel this has had a affect on me even in my life later….

  2. xiaoyao2 says:

    Yes, it is pretty much human, to compare, me versus others.

    The 6th Master Hui Neng (of Zen) said : “不是風動,不是幡動,仁者心動”,

    i.e. “It is not the wind, it is not the waving flag, it is the heart that moves”.

    That “heart” is “me”, it is that “heart” that moves, irrespective of the external “wind” and the “flag”.

    Have a great day.

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