The elderly neighbor, a trader, living across the road had recently passed away probably left behind a small fortune for his wife and adult children.
Within weeks of his departure, his family traded in his few-years-old Volvo for a brand new Mercedes and also bought a new Japanese make car. (Reserve my comments on their not following the wisdom of the Yi, and about luck)
It would have been alright, if the neighborhood is wealthy. But it is ostentatious having a brand new Mercedes parked in the driveway in a middle class one, especially when public security in the country has already ‘gone to the dogs’. (Think of Italy in the 1970s and 80s.)
Within a week of the purchases, robbers entered their house before dawn and robbed the family of their brand new cars and some cash as well. Shocked and frightened, they immediately employed private security guards around the clock to look after their house.
Hearing it from a next door neighbor, my wife told me about the robbery and about the security guards. I had told her it would be quite costly to maintain the 24 hours security for months. And I wondered how long they could keep it up.
Sure enough, the sons of that family soon started to call for meetings of the neighbors to talk about poor security in the neighborhood. When few attended, they decided to meet each neighbor outside his or her house trying to drum up support for their scheme of a 24 hours patrol by security guards at each end of the road. Side roads were temporary ignored!
Of late, I have heard the sons’ complains that they have spent so much time and effort for the neighbors and yet feel unappreciated. (Those who had agreed to the security patrol scheme would have to cough up their share of the costs starting next month.)
The question one needs to ask is whether their efforts – words and actions - were sincere or not? And if their words and actions were insincere, doubt they could move heaven!
Perhaps Yi aficionados will understand why I sometimes balked at answers where prognostications mention that sincerity is at stake.
For sincerity is the way of heaven.