Etymology孝 (효) [hyo] – filial piety
子 (자) [ja] – son, man, offspring
Filial piety is the basis of all virtues. It is impossible to be a son of filial piety and still have a self-centered attitude.
The character 孝 “piety” is composed of two characters
A child of filial piety always thinks about what parents want more than anything else, and acts accordingly. The eyes of a child of filial piety see what his parents would like to see, his ears hear what his parents want to hear, and his heart feels what his parents would like to feel. In other words, children of filial piety love based on the five senses of their parents and always strive to be in the sphere of their heart. They want only good for their parents and never wish them ill. And when parents get something good, children want to make it even better.
The son of filial piety takes responsibility for his parents’ problems. He will go anywhere despite difficulties, and will solve his parents’ problems to please them. He serves his parents by doing his best.
If a son or daughter cares more about his parents’ worries and concerns than about his troubles, then he is a child of filial piety. If he only expects his parents to take care of his problems and doesn’t even think about the fact that they may have their problems and concerns, then he is not completely united with his parents.
What must you do to become a child of filial piety? You need to relate with your heart and soul to the thoughts and feelings of your parents. A child of filial piety will not act apart from his parents. If his parents go east, he goes east too, and if they go west, he goes west too. If the parents suddenly turn back, he too will turn back without objection. Even if they change direction ten times, he will still follow them.
Let’s do our filial duty to our parents and become sons and daughters of filial piety.