Lao Laizi lived in the Kingdom of Chu over 2,000 years ago. Demonstrating his loyalty and filial obedience, he provided the best food, clothing, and daily necessities to his parents. But he also possessed a light and playful nature, and was rather creative in his ways of caring for his parents. Such a good heart brought joy and harmony to the home.
Although Lao Laizi was over 70 years old, he never referred to himself as “old” – especially in front of his parents. With both of them being much older than he, had he said as much, wouldn’t they see themselves as being really old, and nearing the end of life?
He also knew that children will always be children, in the eyes of parents.
Because of their age, Lao Laizi’s parents had trouble hearing, and it was getting difficult for them to walk on their own, and venture about. They started to think their life was just plain and dull. So Lao Laizi made a decision to be the family cutup, on a mission to lighten the load with laughter and joy.
One time, on his father’s birthday, Lao Laizi took a piece of colorful cloth and dressed himself up as a toddler, playfully jumping and dancing about childishly in front of his parents. They were delighted with the show.
On another occasion, Lao Laizi was hauling two buckets of water on a pole across his shoulders when he suddenly pretended to lose his footing, tumbling about and splashing water all over himself. Father and mother laughed loud and hard.
One day Lao Laizi was coming across the yard when he spotted a group of young chickens. As his parents looked on, the son suddenly pretended to be a chicken hawk, chasing the birds across the yard. While the chickens appeared rather graceful as they quickly scattered about, Lao Laizi’s gate was more goofy and clumsy – intentionally, of course. His parents nearly bent over with laughter at the spectacle.
Yes, Lao Laizi demonstrated filial obedience and piety in traditional ways, as a loyal and faithful son. But he also gave something else – the gift of laughter.