Conservation - 保護 - Bǎohù
Do not discard items carelessly,
for even frayed thread
can mend a torn cloak.
Consider the inherent worth of existence,
so you do not take for granted
the wondrous gift of life.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Frugality is a virtue in many cultures. Nearly everyone has been taught to conserve and save. Those who do so and do not become miserly are the most admirable among us.
We must be conscious of conservation every day. We should put thought into whether the potentially discarded can instead be reused and recycled. We should continuously consider whether our current expenditures are worthwhile, or simply frivolous.If we are spending our time on activities that are not adding to our well-being, we should be aware and begin to change our ways. We must not be apathetic, as other people wish to be, as our world cannot withstand the forces of progress. Given enough time, the repercussions of industry will poison the earth, water, and air. Everything that we depend upon for life will become a harbinger of death.
Conversation is impossible without sound understanding. We need to look at the wholeness of the world and its cyclical processes. Unless we remember how precious life is, we will take for granted the effort that went into its creation. If we do not contemplate on this matter, we will not assign the proper value to life. We must look closely at the transformations occurring around us all the time - leaves turning in the fall, withering and falling to the earth in winter, decaying during the spring thaw, and providing growth material for summer flowers. We must keep in mind our interaction with these cycles. Everything lives or dies on its own time, but we can interrupt these cycles due to willful ignorance. We always possess the option of contemplation before acting on our impulses. Those who truly follow Tao do so with the grace and awareness that all life is one.