Be Cautious in My Daily Life
zhāoqǐzǎo yèmiánchí lǎoyìzhì xīcǐshí
朝起早 夜眠迟 老易至 惜此时
I will get up each morning before my parents; at night, I will go to bed only after my parents have gone to sleep. When I realize that time is passing me by and cannot be turned back, and that I am getting older year by year, I will especially treasure the present moment.52
52 There is an old Chinese proverb: “A unit of time is as precious as a unit of gold, but you cannot buy back one unit of time with one unit of gold.” It means that time is really very precious, as no amount of money can buy time. 中国谚语说：「一寸光阴一寸金，寸金难买寸光阴」。意思是说时间非常珍贵，不是用金钱可以买到的。
chénbìguàn jiānshùkǒu biànniàohuí zhéjìngshǒu
晨必盥 兼漱口 便溺回 辄净手
When I get up in the morning, I will wash my face and brush my teeth. After using the toilet, I will always wash my hands.
guānbìzhèng niǔbìjié wàyǔlǚ jùjǐnqiè
冠必正 钮必结 袜与履 俱紧切
I must wear my hat straight,53 and make sure the hooks54 of my clothes are tied. My socks and shoes should also be worn neatly and correctly.
53 Guan“冠”means hat. In ancient China, when a male wore a hat, it meant he had attained the age of an adult.“冠”是帽子。中国古时候男子头上带帽，表示他已成年。
54 In ancient China, in place of buttons, people used hooks. When dressed, hooks had to be tied. 中国古人衣服用衣钩，需要打结。
zhìguānfú yǒudìngwèi wùluàndùn zhìwūhuì
置冠服 有定位 勿乱顿 致污秽
I will always place my hat and clothes away in their proper places. I will not carelessly throw my clothes around, for that will get them dirty.
yīguìjié búguìhuá shàngxúnfèn xiàchènjiā
衣贵洁 不贵华 上循分 下称家
It is more important that my clothes are clean, rather than how extravagant they are. I will wear only what is suitable for my station. At home, I will wear clothes according to my family traditions and customs.
duìyǐnshí wùjiǎnzé shíshìkě wùguòzé
对饮食 勿拣择 食适可 勿过则
When it comes to eating and drinking, I will not pick and choose my food. I will only eat the right amount; I will not over-eat.
niánfāngshào wùyǐnjiǔ yǐnjiǔzuì zuìwéichǒu
年方少 勿饮酒 饮酒醉 最为丑
I am still young, I must not drink alcohol. When I am drunk, my behavior will turn ugly.
bùcōngróng lìduānzhèng yīshēnyuán bàigōngjìng
步从容 立端正 揖深圆 拜恭敬
I will always walk composed, with light and even steps. I will always stand up straight and tall. My bows will always be deep, with hands held in front and arms rounded. I will always pay my respect with reverence.55
55 Bai“拜”means paying respect. In ancient China, people paid their respect to others by bowing, holding one hand over the other which is closed, or prostrating themselves on the ground.“拜”是礼敬。中国古时候屈身、拱手、下跪、以头叩地等礼节都称为拜。
wùjiànyù wùbǒyǐ wùjījù wùyáobì
勿践阈 勿跛倚 勿箕踞 勿摇髀
I will not step on doorsills or stand leaning on one leg. I will not sit with my legs apart or sprawled out. I will not rock the lower part of my body while standing or sitting down.
huǎnjiēlián wùyǒushēng kuānzhuǎnwān wùchùléng
缓揭帘 勿有声 宽转弯 勿触棱
I will always lift the curtain slowly,56 and quietly. I must leave myself ample space when I turn so I will not bump into a corner.
56 In ancient China, curtains were made of bamboo strips woven together. They were used to shelter a room from view. 古时候“帘”是用切细的竹子编成的，挂在屋内可遮敝房间。
zhíxūqì rúzhíyíng rùxūshì rúyǒurén
执虚器 如执盈 入虚室 如有人
I will hold empty containers carefully as if they were full.57 I will enter empty rooms as if they were occupied.58
shìwùmáng mángduōcuò wùwèinán wùqīnglüè
事勿忙 忙多错 勿畏难 勿轻略
I will avoid doing things in a hurry, as doing things in haste will lead to many mistakes. I should not be afraid of difficult tasks, and I will not become careless when a job is too easy.
57 Even if a container is empty, out of reverence to things whether living or not, one should treat it with respect and handle it with care. 虽然容器是空的，也要珍惜它。对所有一切众生，都要懂得爱惜。
58 In ancient China, a virtuous man always behaved properly, regardless of whether he was alone or with others. 君子绝不会因有人或无人在房间而改变他的行为、举止和态度。
dòunàochǎng juéwùjìn xiépìshì juéwùwèn
斗闹场 绝勿近 邪僻事 绝勿问
I will keep away from rowdy places. I will not ask about things that are abnormal or unusual.
jiāngrùmén wènshúcúnjiāngshàngtáng shēngbìyáng
将入门 问孰存 将上堂 声必扬
When I am about to enter a main entrance, I must first ask if someone is inside. Before entering a room, I must first make myself heard, so that those inside know someone is approaching.
rénwènshuí duìyǐmíng wúyǔwǒ bùfēnmíng
人问谁 对以名 吾与我 不分明
If someone asks who I am, I must give my name. To answer ‘It is me’ or ‘Me’ is not sufficient.
yòngrénwù xūmíngqiú tǎngbùwèn jíwéitōu
用人物 须明求 倘不问 即为偷
Before borrowing things from others, I must ask for permission. If I do not ask, it is stealing.
jièrénwù jíshíhuán hòuyǒují jièbùnán
借人物 及时还 后有急 借不难
When borrowing things from others, I will return them promptly. Later, if I have an urgent need, I will not have a problem borrowing from them again.