Mencius (372-289 BCE), who is part of Confucius’s fourth generation of disciples, was a famous Chinese Confucian philosopher, and he was often called the “second Sage” which means that he is second only to Confucius himself. There is a popular saying in Chinese which says that there is always a great woman behind a successful man. The woman here usually refers to the man’s wife, but in our story here, this woman is a great mother.
Mencius’s Mother Moves her Home Three Times
Mencius’s father died when he was three years old, and he was raised by his mother. Mencius showed a particular talent for imitation from early childhood. Originally, his home was near a graveyard. Since people would come to the graves to dig the tombs or cry for their deceased family members, Mencius would imitate their crying or tomb digging as he played nearby. When his mother noticed this, she thought that it would not be a good place for her child to live.
She moved her family to a place near the market. Soon Mencius began imitating the salesmen, hawking and bargaining there, and he enjoyed doing so again and again. Shaking her head with a deep sigh, Mencius’s mother decided to move away again.
Finally, they moved to another place near a school. This time, Mencius was found imitating the students reading books and being polite to others. Nodding her head with a satisfying smile, Mencius’s mother decided to settle down. Later, as mentioned above, Mencius became an influential thinker and educator, a great Confucian philosopher.
Parents- the Best Teachers of the Children
There is another saying in Chinese, the best teachers of the children are their parents. Mencius’s mother, a wise woman, made the right decision and paid the price for giving a good educational environment to her child. This left a very positive effect on Mencius.