We need nutrients in order to survive in this world. All the things between heaven and earth are the nutrients that support us. For instance, rain and dew sustain plants and flowers, pet food feed cats and dogs, water in the ocean nourishes its living beings, air provides nutrients for all things, learning cultivates our character, parents nurture their children, and we need food and clothing in order to live.
Without the nourishment of nutrients, no living thing can survive in the world. Farmers keep pigs and chickens, wealthy people maintain consultants and academia, the wise sustain people with their wisdom and morals, those polished in politics and human relationships nourish the general public with their expertise, and the ruler of a country cultivates the support of people. In the past, Taiwan once traded people resulting in many women being adopted by families as daughters.
When we have the required nutrients, we can maintain good health for our body and mind so that we do not get sick easily. A pure heart and less craving nourish our mind, serenity and far-sightedness our willpower, and leisure and ease our harmony. We make use of the nutrients provided by things in nature for us to cultivate our hope, honesty, energy, ethics, and capacity. We have to nourish our deficiencies. When we gain nutrients, we should learn to save and cultivate our energy in order to progress and improve. As we grow deep and broad, we can benefit all people.
We also need the nourishment provided by so many people in our lives. Teachers provide us with knowledge, farmers supply us with our staples, and manufacturers deliver us our daily necessities. The country and society, as well as their own children, should give seniors due respect for their past and present contributions. In the Book of Rites, it is stated, "At age fifty, we are nourished by our home village; sixty, our country; and seventy, knowledge." When old people lack nutrients, how can they survive? Ants store food and bees honey. They are stocking up nutrients. Therefore, if we fail to complete ourselves in life and store sufficient nutrients, we will worry about our future. Training of private industry employees as well as government workers must be appropriately nurtured. When Taiwan was under Japanese rule, schools were called "Nourishing Institutes." When a person takes nourishing seriously, he/she will be complete in development. If an organization can do the same with its human resources, it will prosper. Nutrients are fundamental to supporting our bodies, so how can we not take them seriously if we want to live long?
However, nutrients are not just for the physical body. They are most important to feed our hearts and minds. We need benevolence, ethics, and righteousness to cultivate our nature. While our body must have its daily supply of food as nourishment, our mind also needs an equivalent amount of ethics and integrity every day to keep it well sustained.
We store food to support our body and ethics to cultivate our nature. So how much moral nutrients can we store?