My Father’s Prophecy
My father didn’t receive a formal education, but his rich life experiences endowed him with an ability to foresee the future and guide me in coping with life. I used to smirk on hearing my father’s sayings, but the reality always proved his words to be true. I admire him from the bottom of my heart.
He had three sayings when he was alive.
The first was, “The land is always our lifeblood. One day, the city dwellers will ask for a piece of land just as the farmers do.”
He was just into his 60s when he said this and was helping me take care of my children then. Twenty years later, after he had already left us for a long time, his prophecy came true. Wealthy city people all came flocking to the rural areas to co-build houses or rent land for residential quarters, all valid for seventy years from time of sale. The whole countryside would have been sold away if there weren’t any rules prohibiting city dwellers from buying a farmer’s homestead.
A piece of land in the countryside provides the city dwellers with safe crops and vegetables. They can breathe fresh air or spend summer vacations there. Now the most beautiful houses in the rural areas are not built by farmers, but by people from the cities. The best vegetables, crops and orchards are not tended to by farmers, but instead by urban agricultural enterprises.
My father’s words were simple. Human beings are from the land and shall return to the land after death. When one becomes wealthy, the first thing they want to take is the land.
His second saying was: “Don’t buy too many houses, they will be taxed sooner or later.” He said that 15 years ago when commercial property was just on the rise.
“It is useless to have too many houses. Enough is enough. Otherwise, ghosts and specters will come to your empty houses.” My father said this when he saw that I had saved every penny to buy another home. Actually, I was just worring that my children would not have a house to live in
when they were older.
However, his words became a reality. Oversized houses are heavily taxed. Paying tax for an empty house is not worth the candle. One room is enough for one person, why do we have so many houses?
His third prophecy stated that, “Money can buy a lot of things, but it also brings troubles.” I am the earliest group of college graduates from our little village, but I am the poorest monetarily. People sneered at me when I went back home not riding in a luxury vehicle. On the contrary, several vocational graduates have had glamorous vehicles and villas, frequently going abroad on trips. However, three of them were taken to prison during the anticorruption campaigns.
In fact, we were all from poor families. We studied hard to make livings in the city. It was not easy, but the greediness for several grand ruined their lives. What a pity! I am poor, but I can have a better life, earning extra money writing and lecturing in my leisure time. I enjoy a decent life even without luxury cars or villas. I can walk upright when going back to my hometown, without fear of villagers gossiping and mocking behind my parents’ back.
I remember my father’s words and practice them. That’s why I have such a clean and care-free life.
(From Knowledge Window,
April 2017.Translation:Li Li)