A Letter from GAO Zhisheng (2)

This is the second letter GAO wrote regarding people’s helping his brother’s  selling dates.

Dear Brother YANG Hai, and (cc) HU Jia,

First I would like to express my gratitude to you, and also please help me to pass my greetings and appreciation to friends in this world who show their concern and love to me and my family.

I never use my time other than Sunday to deal with matters that do not fall into work or study, but this week, this is already the second time.

I rarely consider my own gains and loss, this does not mean
that I am totally out of this material world. It is just that I have always thought that one’s wealth shall be the result of his own hard effort. How can the fortune of each of us be decided by some small incidental calculation? I always think that to follow one’s heart,  and then all we gain is natural and a relief to our heart.

Last night, I was sleepless again for three hours, this is rather rare for me, it is still because of my elder brother’s selling dates.

I am often not concerning things out of my window, though living in one yard, I stay with relatives for less than ten minutes during each of my two meals everyday. Mostly I tell jokes to make everyone laugh, and sometimes listen to their chats. But in recent days, every time dates sale was mentioned when meeting each other, and yesterday a request by my nephew GAO Huan made me sleepless.

In the past few days, many friends started to donate to me via buying dates, this is not surprising. And fortunately, my relatives did not hesitate but returned all the money, and they also tried not to let me know, worrying that it might make me troubled. But while there are more situations like this, they have to spend more time returning the money. One friend Mr. Shi sent 1600 yuan for a box of dates (five kilos), and specially mentioned that the extra money was for me. Already being busy, my young relatives started to deal with more returning transactions, thus they requested me to write a letter and ask friends to stop any donation—we do not accept donations.

First, I feel deeply appreciative for all who have shown their great love to me and my family, this giving is the most touching one—because it is sincere—it is love to a humble life in his most difficult, troubled, and humiliated time. To Gao Zhisheng, the most touching is the expression of this true love, instead of the way it was expressed. I have to seriously clarify: this way of expression is not we wanted, please do understand and respect my concern.

The common experience of human beings has shown, that everyone, has an inner tendency and even hearted longing for gains with no effort, I and my relatives are no exceptions either. However to be enthusiastic about gains without effort and take it for granted shall never be respected. Gains with no work for us, for my young relatives, for our life morals and capacities, is not good. To put it more seriously, it will obstruct our personal and family merits of pursuing kindness and good reputation. No matter how bad the current situation of the society is, our family care about our actions and reputation, this is what my mother had worked for in her whole life, and we also make our endeavuor to make ourselves live with a positive self-acknolwdgement. I pay attention to everyone’s thoughts and deeds at home that fall into my views, though difficult to avoid everything from happening.

I thank my Lord, for his mercy and kindness, the products of our land make me warm and feed me well. To materials, I have always longed for little, I can stay in the village for a year and spend not a single penny. The money needed for my dental treatment was already prepared. I hope that my loving friends use their money in places that it is most needed.

I feel thankful for my relatives, and also relieved for them—without hesitation they returned donations from friends, the morals of this family still stand—at least with regard to this dates sale.

This morning, I got the information on the Internet that other sellers from our village price their dates for 10 yuan per half kilo, and my nephew makes it 8 yuan, “to express his thanks to everyone’s friendliness and trust”. I rarely pay attention to what is happening out of my window, but I feel something has changed recently, the dates collectors suddenly disappeared out of our village. Today I started to know the reason that due to continuous autumn rain, many dates got cracked, and my elder brother only picked out 65kilo good dates out of almost 4000kilos, the whole family felt grateful for the buyers’ love, and went to other villages that are far from our own to collect good dates. They say “to sell the best dates to people”. I heard that they profit only one to two yuan out of half kilo dates, but they feel very happy, though the temperature is lower than minus 10 now.

There is one other issue that I want to explain, my elder brother tried to put an additional half kilo in each box of dates to friends, but this kindness was stopped due to the delivery cost. The courier delivery has a rule that each box shall be 5 kilo, and any extra weight will make double delivery charge (not only the cost for the overweight). The lowest delivery cost is 2 yuan/half kilo, the longer distance it is, the more it will cost. My nephew says that there are also friends from Heilongjiang, Fujian and Hainan provinces, and he says even if he does not make profit, he will post the dates to them. My proposal is, how about friends from distant provinces add 10 yuan to the delivery charge. I raise this issue here for consultation, and understanding from friends.

Again I thank you, my friends. Only in the most difficult situation, we see the changes of people in this world, it makes those who surrounded you with their fake smiles in the past become real—all the fake things become real, even the liver and lungs totally changed their colour. This is my incidental and remarkable gains in these years.

“By the sunken barge a thousand sails go pass, before the withered tree all is green in spring”. In these years, countless friends who want China to be a better place and who also endeavour to be true people have shown their love to me and become people I love. In your love, I often feel touched, and become powerful—often feel enlightened—this country will not be hopeless for long.

May my Lord bless all my friends! May my Lord bless Chinese people troubled in pain.

With love,
Gao Zhisheng
December 18, 2015

The original letter in Chinese



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