Those Things in the Ming Dynasty

I think history is a boring stuff for most people except for Chinese. Everyone read history. And I believe that everyone must learn something from history more or less. However, the truth is that it is hard to find interesting things in history. I read a lot of history. European ancient history is full of mystery. In another words, due to the different cultural background, sometimes, I feel like it is unreal and even kind of naïve. I am not a Christian. And I am not going to say something blasphemous. But to be honest, I don’t think Moses could lead people to create a fantastic world with the guide of God. The modern history of Europe develops in confusion. From Western Roman Empire to Reich, the modern history of Europe is full of violence and bloodiness. Throughout the modern history of Europe, it is no more than conquering and being conquered. And the content is no more than the struggle for freedom and democracy.

In contrast, Chinese history is totally different from others’. Although the changes of dynasties happen time and time again, however, Chinese history has never ever been interrupted. China has the longest civilization in the world. Calculating from the first dynasty, Xia, in 2070BC, China has more than 4000-year history. China experienced the same things, including wars and revolutions, just like what happed in other places in the world. But the difference is that the ancient territory of China has been always governed by Chinese with Chinese culture being inherited and developed continuously.

I don’t think it is easy to raise your interest in reading history of foreign countries. However, I have to try my best to introduce Chinese history to you, or you may miss one of the most glorious wealth which not only belong to Chinese, but also belong to humans. Referring to Chinese history, it is better to say exploring than reading. You will be interested in the political power struggle which is cruel but full of wisdom. You have to be surprised in the families’ struggle which happened among the emperors’ wives. In ancient China, the emperor, as the most powerful person in the nation, could have thousands of wives in his family. To be in power and be loved, especially to be survival, the emperor’s wives were engaged in the fierce struggle in the Forbidden City. Compared with the real battles and wars, their struggle seems much more cruel and sinister.

Let’s start with the history novel, Those Things in the Ming Dynasty. Different from the general history books which we are familiar with. Those Things in the Ming Dynasty is a history novel. It tells the stories of Ming Dynasty (1344-1644) based on historical materials organized in a chronological order. The book gives a comprehensive description of the destinies of the 17 Ming emperors along with aristocrats and unknown historical figures. The book analyzes officialdom, war and the psychological strategies of the emperors as well as the then political and economic systems and moral ethics.

The reason why Chinese history is interesting is not only because there are countless interesting things happened in history, but, the most important, you can find the shadow or reflection of yourself and start to think of something in a different way in your life. You’ll never see the rainbow without the rain and wind.

I see myself when I read Emperor Zhu, who’s the first emperor in Ming Dynasty. He had no ambitions and even dreams at his young age. He played with his friends every day. At that age, he didn’t need to go to school and he didn’t have a lot of homework to do. And there’s no employment competitiveness. He could have spent all his life like others. Growing vegetables in the farmland his father left, getting married with the girl his parents appointed, having a baby and watching him growing up, they are all things he should have done. However, something happened to his family that made him extraordinary from then on. His father offended dignitaries because of tiny little matter of use of farmland. The dignitary killed Zhu’s families and burned his house. Fortunately, Zhu dodged the bullet since he was so naughty playing with his friends that didn’t come back home on time. Losing of family impelled the young boy to think about the society. After sadness, he realized he needs to survive. The hatred enforced him to do something to make the world better. Since then, he endured hardships to plan retaliation and turned over a new page of history.

Today, we all are experiencing the same thing. We all have dreams. However, most of time to majorities, we are not doing things for our dreams. The growing employment pressure enforces everyone to be educated. To avoid poverty, we have to work hard and to do our best to make money. We give our dreams up on the way of struggling. My dream was to be a scientist when I was a child. I dreamed that one day I would invent a kind of intelligent car, which could both run in the road and fly in the sky. As my growing up, I got to find that my dream was kind of childish while I had to finish my homework and got good grades in finals. After going to junior high school, my dream was to run a hospital. I hoped that one day I would run my own private hospital. I would like to provide free treatment to the poor. I would bring in the most advanced medical instruments to provide the best treatment for my patients. Time goes by, I’m working on my degrees and thinking about my working opportunities in my near future, forgetting my so-called dreams. I have to make money. I need to get a job with decent income. It is not so much our thoughts than our living experiences that make us give up our dreams. The society changed us while we adapt to the society.

Most of time, we are not strong enough to change the world. Oppositely, the Era forges heroes.

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