Helping Yourself by Helping Others

Zheng Jian, Contributor, Dora Li, Contributing Translator

In ancient China, people seeking to cultivate into immortals would sometimes hide away in a cave where they could spend long hours meditating. One day, a young man wanted to find a cave in which to cultivate. He looked everywhere and eventually found one. Just when he started to clean it, an old man came by and said, “You are still young. I’ve been looking for a cave like this for many years because I need a place to cultivate diligently. I’m now very old and I may not have enough time left. Please give this cave to me.”

The young man thought for a little bit and then gave the cave to the old man.

So, he began looking for another cave, and at last he found one. He spent a lot of time cleaning it. One day, a crippled man came by and said, “You are young and healthy. You can look for another cave, but it’s difficult for me to look for one. Please give this cave to me.” The young man was reluctant to relinquish this second cave, but after he thought about it for a while, he gave the man the cave.

He kept looking for a cave. Each time he found one, someone asked him for it. He was getting older and so he started to worry that he would never find a place to cultivate. The years passed and soon he was so old that he could hardly walk.

Nevertheless, he kept looking, and finally he found a good one. However, because he was now so old, it took him a long time to clean it. When he finally finished, he looked around. He was very satisfied with this cave and thought, “Even though I waited a long time, I have found a very good cave.”

Right after he sat down, a young man came by and said, “Grandpa, you are too old to cultivate. I am still young and I have many years left to cultivate, please give this cave to me.”

The man felt very frustrated and wondered, “Why does this keep happening?” He realized that he was so old now that he would not have enough strength to look for another cave. However, in the end, he gave this cave to the young man.

Just as he was turning to leave, a glorious God appeared in front of him, and gently said, “Come with me now, you have completed your cultivation.”

In ancient China, people believed that when you help others you are actually helping yourself. They emphasized being kind and tolerant, and placing others’ needs before their own.




Don’t lose hope!
Don’t give up, even you can’t fell or see anything …

Lucy January 23, 2024

Such a inspiring story :)
Sometimes we are frustrated or don’t see the true meaning of the events in our life. But this story showed me that when we keep goodness in our hearts we don’t have to worry and that we are on the right path.

Katarina August 17, 2023

Very interesting story that brings many meaningful lessons, helping others is helping yourself. Thanks a lot

Luong August 17, 2023

Awe… I really loved this story! Helping others is a way to shape your own characters and self betterment. What an opportunity to be asked for help!

Alina August 10, 2023

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