In which we start the New Year off right with a story of a good word

This is the last story...for a while.  The blog will soon return to adventures with horse-ears at the bottom, griping about the weather, and other ruminations about wintertime life in the Swampland.

Happy New Year, Y'all!  Let's make this a good one!

One Word (China)
Chang Kung was head of a large household.

In Chang Kung’s compound lived all his children, grandchildren, and great-children, plus all the aunts, uncles and cousins, too.

This family lived together in perfect happiness. 

Even the dogs in Chang Kung’s compound did not fight.  Everyone was content all the time.

People talked about this amazing household.  Even the emperor heard of Chang Kung’s happy home.  The emperor was curious:  what was the secret of this happiness?

Chang Kung welcomed the emperor into his home.  The emperor saw that everyone was truly happy here.  “Chang Kung, how can all of these people live together in such happiness?  What is the secret?”

Chang Kung did not respond.  He simply took out his brush and began to write.  Word after word, he filled the sheet.

Just one word.  Written one hundred times.

“I see,” said the emperor.

Taking the brush, the emperor also wrote.  He wrote a proclamation expressing his joy at finding Chang Kung’s happy household.   He told Chang Kung to post the proclamation on his gate, so that everyone could see the emperor’s words.

From that time, Chang Kung’s fame grew.  People wanted his picture for their homes.  They wanted peace and happiness in their own homes just as he had created in his.

To this day, Chang Kung’s picture hangs in many Chinese kitchens.  He is called the Kitchen God.  And he reminds everyone of the secret of happiness.

Just one word:  KINDNESS.




The sun be warm and kind to you,
The darkest night, some star shine through,
The dullest morn a radiance brew,
And when dusk comes -
God's hand to you.

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