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‘The Five Excellences’. 1. Excellence in Noble Philosophies – Possessing personal integrity. Being a morally upright individual, with the combination of qualities expected of an exemplary person. Decent, principled, gracious, just, steadfast yet open-minded, with a readiness to help others. Bearing courteous behaviour, especially in the case of men and women towards each other. Having a spirit of forbearance and appreciation for others, and being well experienced in overcoming the difficulties found in preserving self-government even in the most adverse situation. To possess the ability to discern between right and wrong to safely guide the thoughts and actions – this is considered to be the primary excellence. For without virtues, what use are talents? 2. Excellence in Wu-Chi – The ability to be a teacher of teachers. Teaching others how to use an activity like ‘martial art’ as an agent in community aid work. Teaching how to create object lessons, where students are confronted with puzzles that exercise their ability to make sound decisions based upon ethics. Training others how to use and build personal development programs for the many different types of people found within any given community. Programs that lead to the development of body, mind and character. 3. Excellence in Natural Medicines – Having the means to care for the sick. The use of acupuncture, herbs, remedial massage and osteopathy. This excellence upholds one of the greatest gifts – the knowledge of how to heal the sick and comfort the afflicted. By being acquainted with Natural Medicines, a Si-Fu is able to assist others with their infirmities and help them to help themselves, by informing them of the laws that govern health and happiness, and how to conscientiously obey them. 4. Excellence in Education – To broaden one’s sphere. By becoming a scholar in fields of learning such as maths, language, science and history etc., a Si-Fu extends his/her frontiers through education and thus extends his/her working sphere. In brief: maths develops logical thinking; science gives insight into natural laws; language affords greater communication and interaction opportunities; and history provides the material to learn from the mistakes and successes of the past, and the evidence that despite technological progress, human nature is still prone to the same pitfalls. 5. Excellence in ‘Ten Talents’ – Ensuring a practical outlook on life. Because Si-Fu is a professional teacher of a subject that is based upon philosophy and expressed through an art form, a firsthand appreciation of the talents of others helps to act as a safety rail against the possibility of becoming narrow minded and full of self-importance. It is because of this a Si-Fu has need of ten talents. Practical talents such as cooking, tailoring, mechanics, carpentry and gardening, etc. to name but a few. They are to be talents of his own choosing that would render his hands as implements of use in the surrounding community. For without talents, what use are virtues?
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