Farewell - 告別 - Gàobié
The crossroads lies ahead
but you have yet to choose...
to turn 'round, or find a place to rest,
before choosing which fork to take.
You leave all behind, joy and sorrow,
problems pass, no more concerns.
Alone, we must forge ahead
each of us walks our own path-
separate, parallel existence.
People may come together briefly, in friendships or relationships, but that makes those times no less valuable. We must find support in this world, sharing one's environment in a mutually beneficial way with another being. We take from one another, but we also give back. This is fundamental. No one should lean disproportionately upon another, or expect to be carried long distances down the road. That is not a comment about physical limitations, but the absence of individual willpower. Friends should walk side by side, for as long as the journey carries them ahead, without becoming overly dependent upon one another.
There should be no obligation towards friendship. If you can help someone do something, then do so without hesitation or expectation of reward/debt. If some skill exists which I need to learn, and a companion can show it to me, then I should accept the lesson with humility. No one possesses knowledge, or can claim ownership of scholarly traditions. It is meant to be shared.
Parting is inherent, in all meetings. Our existence, or perhaps merely our perspective on it, leads us to believe that nothing lasts forever. The transience of life provides poignancy. Everyone is responsible for himself, or herself. There is no need to walk by yourself, but the only road upon which you may tread is your own.