Six Life Lessons for Today from Chung King
The Stepping Stones to Enlightenment Do Not Always Lay on
the Most Trodden Path
Preface: The philosophy of Chung King is not as well known, nor as old as that of Confucius. But it did enjoy some notoriety in select circles during the last century. I was introduced to its tenets as a teenager, and I have continued to carry its wisdom with me into adulthood. In case you haven't had occasion to contemplate the eternal truths of Chung King, I propose to share with you here six key life-shaping maxims from this philosophy. And whether or not you agree with the eternal verities presented here, I’m sure you will find them to be food for thought.
1. Life is like a can ̶ ̶ you can open it, but you can't always stomach what's inside
2. When it's difficult to figure out that which is before you, try using your noodle.
3. That which looks like a dog's breakfast usually turns out to taste like one.
4. Stirring the pot doesn't always improve matters.
5. Life's problems are like delicious spring rolls in Hong Kong ̶ ̶
they are best eaten one at a time
6. Canned content doesn't finish up even a distant second place to fresh fare.
Postscript: Chun King was an American line of canned "Chinese" food products. The brand was founded in the 1940s and by 1962, was generating more than $30 million in gross annual revenues. At its height of popularity, it accounted for 50% of all sales of prepared Chinese food in the U.S. and became the darling of the TV-dinner generation. When it comes to life lessons, you don't always have to look to the philosophies of "deep thinkers"; sometimes the most mundane of day-to-day experiences yield golden nuggets of wisdom. ̶ ̶ Phil Friedman
Author's Notes: I trust that ethnic and national Chinese who read this post will understand it is not intended in any way to disparage the major place of Chinese thought and accomplishment in the history of the world and civilization. And I hope they will readily see that this is a parody of modern Western society's sometimes shallow approach not only to philosophical thought and historical tradition but to "popular" cuisine as well.
This post is dedicated with affection and respect to my online friend and fellow writer, Cory Galbraith. Cory has taught me the value of seeking universal truths in the writings and lives of historical figures. In seeking to follow his path, I've blended the wisdom thus gained with that of several other authors I've met on LinkedIn -- including, but not limited to Jim Murray, Milos Djukic, Andrew Books, John White, Jeff Halfen, Jeffrey Strickland, and David B. Grinberg. To all of whom, I owe a great debt for their contributions to my progress along the road to Enlightenment. Of course, any missteps from that path are solely my own.
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About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I taught logic and philosophy at university.
Text Copyright © 2016 by Phil Friedman and Jim Murray — All Rights Reserved
Images Credits: Phil Friedman, Reynolds Metals Co. and Google Images
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