My mother came into my room just now. She explained that a terrible event just took place in the country she was born and raised in, her old country (Korea). She explained that a very important and respected man just died. She said he was a monk, but not just any monk. She compared him to the pope, and explained that the position he had held in his life and in his religion was just as high. She said that he wrote a letter on his death bed, moments before he passed. Somebody put the letter on the internet and it has become an instant sensation in Asia. She wanted to translate it to me because she thought his words were extremely important and her daughter should hear them. So, I put my jewelry making tools aside, prepared my laptop to type these very "important" words as she spoke.
My mother is a great English speaker, and has come very far since she moved to the United States, however her English is still a little "broken" at times, and she had great difficulty translating some of the Korean thoughts in this letter. So keep in mind, this is a translation from Korean to English by my mother, and then a translation from my mother's version of English to English by me. I tried my best to type it just like she said it, but I had to change a few words around to make the script make more sense. In doing so, I got a great kick out of this letter (or my mother's version of it), and laughed out loud much to my mother's offense.
The letter read as follows:
As you get older. Don't rush anything, and don't say mean things. Don't wine. If you hear gossip, don't get involved, even if it does happen to be true.
Don't try to win all the time. Try to lose sometimes. It may bring you comfort. Take one step back and yield. That is how you live your life so wise, and that is the secret of the wisdom of your life.
Drop the greed of money. It doesn't matter how much money you have. When you die you cannot take it with you. And if you leave so much money with your children, your children will fight over it. So while you are living, try to use money here and there and reward yourself. You have to hold some money until the moment you die. You have to hold it really tight. If you meet your old friends you have to be wealthy enough so that you can buy them a drink. Save money for grand children for presents and stuff.
And as you get older, you should have enough money to take care of yourself, and that's when you get respect from people around you. Friends, try to forget all the things that happened in the past and don't try to brag about yourself and how you did good in your life. It doesn't matter how hard you try, you cannot stop the time. Time will just go. When that happens you have to have a feeling like the sun is trying to come up, and the sun is going down. Our time is walking away from us, far and far. It doesn't matter how hard you are trying to hold the time. It will go and don't waste your energy trying to hold the time.
Always have a good relationship with your children, your grand children and neighbors. Live your life as a good person. You cannot get sick . Try to stay healthy. Because when you get sick people will ignore you and disrespect you."
And then she looked up at me, scrunched up her face a bit, and said: