A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got
married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short
time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all.
Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of
her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.
Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never
stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was
that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law
and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing
Li-Li's poor husband great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's
bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about
Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She
told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that
she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while,
and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must
listen to me and obey what I tell you."
Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do."
Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package
of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid
of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious.
Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison
in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little
of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects
you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards
her. Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen."
Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot
of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by, and months went by,
and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law.
She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled
her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother.
After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.Li-Li had practiced
controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad
or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months
because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's
attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter.
She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law
one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other
like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to
see what was happening.
One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said,
"Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law!
She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother.
I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled
and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave
you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health.
The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has
been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."
MORAL: have you ever realized that how you treat others is exactly how they
will treat you? There is a wise Chinese saying: 'The person who loves others
will also be loved in return.' God might be trying to work in another person's
life through you.