Filial Piety

The photos and video of Ting Tsu-chi carrying his mother to the hospital have gone viral. (Internet photo)

Filial piety has become a hot issue in Taiwan, according to a Staff reporter on 2012-03-06, after video of a middle-aged man carrying his frail mother into the Chi Mei Hospital went viral, touching hearts all over the country. Now people want to know more about the man in the video.

But what’s FILIAL PIETY in today’s age?

”Filial piety” is deeply embraced in ancient Chinese culture, teachings and philosophy.

It’s Confucianism.

Here’s sharing an article written by Dr Chris Anthony . . .


This is no sermon nor a nag ; it’s a very simple message. The article below was written by Dr. Chris Anthony . To those of you who still have their parents living , I like to share this good piece of regret that I had not read it earlier during the days when both my parents were still alive.

Read on ……

The time is now.

It is better to give them a little time now than to give them the world when they are gone. The world is full of sons and daughters like you and I.

I had a marvellous mother, who loved me, sacrificed for me and helped me in every way possible. In all of my growing up from childhood through school and eventually marriage, my mother was always at my side.

And when I needed help with my little ones, she was there for me. A few years ago, we buried this wonderful woman.Can you imagine how I felt when I returned home and found a poem in her drawer, written by my mom:

      The time is now

        If you are ever going to love

           Love me now while I can know

             The sweet and tender feelings

                Which from true affection flow                

Love me now while I am living

                      Do not wait until I am gone

                         And then have it chiseled in marble

                           Sweet words on ice-cold stone

                              If you have tender thoughts of me

                                 Please let me know now

                                   If you wait until I am sleeping

                                     There will be death between us

                                        And I will not hear you then

                                       So if you love me, even a little bit

                                          Let me know while I am living

                                                  So that I can treasure it

                                                            Your loving mum

Now she is gone and I am sick with guilt.

Because I never told her what she meant to me.

Worse yet, I did not treat her as she deserved to be treated.

I found time for everyone and everything else But I never made time for her.

It would have been easy to drop in for a cup of tea And a hug but my friends came first.

Would any of them have done for me what my mother did?

I know the answer.

When I called mom on the phone,

I was always in a hurry.

I feel ashamed when I think of the times I cut her off,

The times I retorted back to her,

The times I glared at her in an angry mood when she wanted to correct me and guide me through the correct path.

I remember too, the times I could have included her in a trip out ,but did not.

My children loved Grandma from the times they were babies.

They often turn to her for comfort and advice.

She understood them.

I realize now that I was too critical,

Too short-tempered, too stingy with praise.

Grandma gave them unconditional love.

The world is filled with sons, daughters and a child like me.

I hope they see themselves in this letter and realize from it.

If this has touched you, please pass it on to all the sons and Daughters who have to praise their Mom for everything they are today.

Modern Day Family


This story highlights that we must do whatever we can when our parents are alive to appreciate what we say or do, however little that may be.

Very often we are willing to spend thousands to give them a grand funeral with the most elaborate preparations and expensive coffins and so on. We are willing have memorials without fail year after year. We give alms in memory of our late parents but we could not afford to spend some time with them when they were with us before their death.

We were too busy with our lives.

How much do we treasure our parents? They may not be perfect but it is undeniable that they deserve more than what we are doing for them now.

We may be cruel to them or we may even be criminals but to our parents we are still good children and they continue to justify why have we become bad. They blame everybody else for their children being bad except them as they believe their children cannot have gone bad by themselves.

Nobody in the world does that. Many will flock to us when we are in a position to give but none when we are down and out. Our parents are the only ones who will be there with us and for us whether we are good or bad, up or down till their last breaths.

Let us search our hearts to see where we have placed our parents in it. If they are not in our hearts it is time to make a place for them there now. If they already there as in many of us, it is time to give them a little more. Let us not do something or fail to do it that we will regret later as it will be too late.


Filial piety is the duty that every Mother’s son or daughter , towards his / her parents. You can have many wives , husbands , mistresses , lovers , friends ; but you only have One biological Mother , Father. If you are a priviledged child with a Nanny , then the Nanny deserves your filial piety because she was the one who groomed you in your childhood years.

It is no use to spend lots of money for your parents’ funeral becos they are not able to cherish what you do ; the lavish funeral rites or expensive coffin that you spend on them ONLY BENEFIT the funeral caretakers ; nobody bothers how much you spend on your parents when they are dead. You may be magnanimous to donate money to charity in memorium of your parents …… who cares !!!

Hence , if you wanna to spend money on your parents , do it when they are still alive and able to appreciate and cherish your love.


2 thoughts on “Filial Piety

  1. Patricia Chong

    This is indeed the very essence of filial piety. Thank you so much for reminding me to spend more time with my aged mum. She may be old & senile but I know she loves the hugs we give her, even a touch on her hands make her smile….

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