Each character in Chinese was originally a picture. Over thousands of years, the pictures have become standardized into the characters recognizable as modern Chinese (中文/汉语）。 Many of the stories have been preserved and Chinese teachers (中文老师） often share these with their students to aid memory.
Many Chinese words come from combinations of characters. For example, crisis (危机） comes from two characters, one meaning ‘danger’, and the other meaning ‘opportunity’. Some are pretty funny, like the Chinese character for ‘home’ and ‘family’ (家) which involves the character symbolizing a roof and the character for pigs. Because if you are in a place with pigs under your roof, you are at home.
Some have very profound undercurrents. The Chinese word for ‘tolerant’ involves the characters that represent a heart and a knife. My teacher (我的老师） explained that tolerance is represented this way because when you open up to people, when you care about them, when you are willing to accept differences and truly get to know someone, you risk getting hurt. More than risk, its almost guarenteed. But you do anyway. You take the chance to reach out where it would be easier to ignore. To practice tolerance and understanding where it would be easier to blindly hate. To love even when it seems like it makes no difference. To bare your heart to a drawn dagger. It takes strength and courage. But when has God (love) demanded any less? Especially when the strength and courage he requires from us is all his own.
It is beautiful (美）to interact with a culture that holds so much depth, culture, and tradition. Maybe Renaissance artists had the right idea, setting off on a world tour to experience other cultures and influences. To learn from other societies, other traditions, other ideas. Maybe every field could stand a bit more of a global perspective.