Chinese Zodiac Signs – Meaning And Significance.

I like to thank Roger Koh, the ‘living Confucius’ for sharing the meaning and significance of the Chinese Zodiac signs with me.

Even though I don’t subscribe to the Chinese Zodiac signs, I like to share the wisdom behind the choice of the signs.

I hope I have done justice in interpreting their meaning and communicating their significance to you.

Thank you Adam Teow for the beautiful Infographic.

—————————————

It was said that Mr Zhou En-lai was once having a meal with his European friends.

A person by the name of Klaus passed an impolite comment when he was drunk.

“You Chinese carry the signs of
pigs, dogs, and mouse at birth.

“I can’t understand what’s going on in the mind of your ancestors?”

At that point, the distinguished group of friends started to laugh. They started to toast each other rowdily.

The cultured and serene atmosphere was broken.

Some people believe that when someone insults your ancestors, even if you don’t have a response to it, the least you could do is to overturn the table against him.

Fortunately, nobody acted rashly or in violence.

For a while, not a single word was uttered. It was probably because they have not come across this situation before.

Then, Mr Zhou En-lai stood up and spoke to everybody in a calm and peaceful way.

“The Chinese ancestors were very wise. They arranged the twelve zodiac signs in pairs. Six pairs in a cycle.

In this way, they expressed their hopes and wishes for the generation that came after them.”

By then, the room was in complete silence. There were some sceptical looks among the audience.

Mr Zhou En-lai continued, ” The first pair of animals is the rat and cow.

“The rat represents wisdom and the cow represents diligence. Wisdom and diligence must operate in harmony.

“If there is wisdom but no diligence in applying it, it’s foolishness.

“On the other hand, if there is diligence but no wisdom, it’s an act of folly.

“That’s why wisdom and diligence must go hand in hand. This is our ancestor’s first wish for us. The first pair of animal also represents the most important hope.

“The second pair is the tiger and rabbit.

“The tiger represents courage and the rabbit represents carefulness. These two qualities must work closely together.

“In that way, it can have a better chance to achieve success.

“Without carefulness, courage becomes recklessness. Similarly, without courage, carefulness becomes cowardice.

“This pair of qualities is very important. That’s why it is the second pair.”

Mr Zhou En-lai looked at the audience and then he added, “Therefore, when we demonstrate our carefulness, please do not think that we do not have the courage to fight for social justice.

“In truth, what our ancestor is pursuing is wisdom through integrity, harmony and balance. It’s never about a single hope or task.

When he saw that the audience was deep in thought, Mr Zhou En-lai continued, “The third pair is the dragon and snake.

“They represent strength and flexibility.

“Strength without flexibility becomes brittle. Without strength, flexibility becomes meaningless.

“That’s why strength with flexibility is an important lesson from our ancestor that has lasted through time.

“The next pair is the horse and goat.

“The horse represents the ability to gallop to success. The goat represents the ability to be considerate and have compassion.

“If a person only looks after himself as he pursues his goal and with no consideration for others, he will face obstacles from the people around him.

“Finally, he may not even be successful.

“However, if a person only looks after others and seek only to be amiable, he will not have a sense of direction. His goal will eventually be lost.

“That’s why the spirit of the horse and virtues of the goat must be applied in harmony with each other. This is our ancestor’s fourth wish for us.

“The next pair is the monkey and the chicken.

“The monkey represents agility.

“As for chicken, as there were no clocks in the days of old, it is needed to wake humans to start a new day.

“The chicken represents stability.

“The qualities of agility and stability must be tightly coupled together.

“If you have agility but no stability, your best plan will not come to pass. However, if you focused on having stability and refuse to change, you will not have a better future.

“When the two qualities are in harmony, on one side, there will be stability in terms of having, for example, effective system and collaboration.

“On the other side, there will be a release of unrelenting creativity and innovation to achieve progress.

“When these two qualities operate in synergy, it is one of the basic imperatives to achieve success.

“Lastly, we have the dog and pig.

“The dog represents loyalty while the pig represents good nature.

“If a person is loyal but does not have a good nature, he will be blindly following others.

“On the other hand, if he has a good nature but does not have loyalty, he will have no people and principles to guide him.

“That’s why whether its loyalty to a country, loyalty to a team, or loyalty to an ideal, you need to ensure that good nature is tightly coupled with and working alongside with it.

“In that way, you can have a deep-seated sense of loyalty that comes from the heart.

“This is why the Chinese believes that the outer core must be in alignment with the inner core (外圆内方,君子和而不同).

“At the inner core, we must have a pure heart that subscribes to high moral values. We must seek to live with ethos and positive principles.

“We must live up to our words and not do anything that will harm others.

“At the external core, we must be knowledgeable about the ways of the world. We must be wise in managing affairs around us.

“We need to focus on what matters in life and not be influenced by evil.

“We need to live with integrity and in harmony with others and the environment. We must not have any form of prejudice or seek to discriminate against anyone.”

At the end of his speech, there was complete silence. They say that you can even hear a pin dropped.

Chinese Zodiac Sign

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About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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