Phil Friedman

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Six Life Lessons for Today from Chung King

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.

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3. That which looks like a dog's breakfast usually turns out to taste like one.

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4. Stirring the pot doesn't always improve matters.

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5. Life's problems are like delicious spring rolls in Hong Kong  ̶ ̶
they are best eaten one at a time

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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.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also want to take a look at:

"Conversations With My Wife About My Writing"

"The Day I (Almost) Met the President   ̶ ̶  My Brief Sojourn as a Washington Press Corps Impostor"


If you'd  like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere on social media. I ask only that you credit me properly as the author, and include a live link to the original work.


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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Comments
Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #13

#22
#21 Thank you Wayne and Kevin, for the kind words and the re-sharing of this one. My best to you both.

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #12

#21
Kevin - this is a great idea. I discovered this "re-surfacing thing" by accident one day. Classic posts deserve to live!

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #11

#20
Thanks for taking up the challenge Wayne

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #10

Re: Kevin Pashuk - Very enjoyable reading experience . . .

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #9

Yes, Gerald Hecht, and those five foot long swords that come out of nowhere for their duels are pretty neat as well.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #8

Thank you, Zachary Ostin, for the kind words. I am sure Chung King would have appreciated them, as well -- were he alive, and not suffering from heartburn. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #7

Gerald Hecht, as you and I know, one of Chung King's primary tenets was, "Do not mistake obscurity for depth of thought." These are wise words for those who embark on the search for Enlightenment, don't you think. Especially on social media. Cheers!

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #6

#6
I'd click on the plus button at least 5 times if I could, Phil.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #5

#5
Actually, @Wayne Yoshida, I once did see haggis in a can. It ultimately failed as a product because of preparation time required -- you had to remove it from the can and bury the contents in the ground for two days before eating.

Wayne Yoshida

Wayne Yoshida

4 years ago #4

Phil Friedman, thanks for the enlightening food experience. There are probably others in the same aisle. Chef Boyardee and Dinty Moore come to mind. But - #4 Wait. I have seen haggis in a can. Isn't that a "European dish"?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #3

#1
Yes, Milos, although being the Europeans take their food more seriously, I am not sure you can really grasp the inanity of eating Chinese cuisine out of a can. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #2

#2
Thank you, Julie Hickman, for the kind words, and for taking the time to say them. My piece "Conversations With My Wife About My Writing" is one of my favorites, and I am in the process of trying to make a video of it as a stand-up short. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

5 years ago #1

Chung King Kong ? :)