Chapter 1: At home, Be Dutiful to Your Parents

When your parents call you, answer them right away. When they command you to do something, do it quickly. When your parents instruct you, listen respectfully. When your parents reproach you, obey and accept their scolding; try hard to change and improve yourself and start anew. In the winter, keep your parents warm; in the summer, keep your parents cool. Greet them in the morning to show them that you care. At night be sure that they rest well. Before going out, tell your parents where you are going, for parents are always concerned about their children. After returning home, go and see your parents to let them know you are back, so they do not worry about you. Have a permanent place to stay and lead a routine life. Persist in whatever you do and do not change your aspirations at will.

Although a matter may be considered trivial, but if it is wrong to do it or unfair to the other person, do not do it thinking it will bear little or no consequence. [4] If you do, you are not being a dutiful child because parents do not want to see their child doing things that are irrational or illegal. Even though an object may be small, do not hoard it. If you do, your parents will be heartbroken.[5] If whatever pleases your parents is fair and reasonable, try your best to get it for them.[6] Should something displease your parents, if within reason,[7] cautiously keep it away from them.

When your body is hurt, your parents will be worried. If your virtues[8] are compromised, your parents will feel ashamed. When you have loving parents, it is not difficult to be a dutiful child. But if you are still dutiful to parents who hate you, only then will it meet the standards of the saints and sages for being a dutiful child.

When your parents do wrong, urge them to change. Do it with a kind facial expression_ and a warm gentle voice. If they do not accept your advice, wait until they are in a happier mood before you dissuade them again, followed by crying to make them understand why. If they end up whipping you,[9] do not hold a grudge against them.

When your parents are ill, taste the medicine first before giving it to them.[10] Take care of them night and day; do not leave their bedside. During the first three years of mourning after they passed away, remember them with gratitude and feel sad often for not being able to repay them for their kindness in raising you. During this period you should arrange your home to reflect your grief and sorrow. Avoid festivities and indulgence in food and alcoholic drinks.

Observe the proper etiquette[11] in arranging their funerals. Hold the memorial ceremony and commemorate their anniversaries with your utmost sincerity. Serve your departed parents as if they were still alive.[12]