也许我们应该要善待我们的灵魂， 而不是等到我们弥留之 际再作无谓的叹息。
There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.
He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and guide him through difficult times.
Now, the merchant's 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.
One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be!"
有一天，商人病倒了。不久，他知道他已来日不多。想到过去的奢华生活，商人不觉暗然神伤，独自感叹道：“如今，我有四个老婆 相伴左右， 可一旦我死去， 她们都将离我而去， 我将是多么的孤独啊！”
Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showed great care of you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!" replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.
于是，他首先问这小老婆道：“我最喜欢你，总是给你最好的衣 服穿，也非常疼爱你，如今，我将不久于人世，你愿随我而去，永不分离吗？” “没门！”小老婆斩钉截铁地回答道，然后，二话没说，扭头便走。
The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!" The merchant's heart sank and turned cold.
小老婆的话象尖刀一般戳进商人的心。商人很难过，于是又找到 这第三个老婆，问她：“我一生都非常喜欢你，如今，我将要死去， 你愿意随我而去，永不分离吗？” “办不到！”她也这般回答，一边又 继续说：“人世的生活多美好！如果你死了，我会重新嫁人呢。”一听此话，商人的心一下凉了半截。
He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most, I can only send you to your grave." The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.
于是，他又问这第二个老婆：“每次遇到困难，我总是找你帮忙， 而你也总能帮我走出困境。如今，我想再一次请求你的帮助。如果我死了，你愿意随我而去，永不分离吗？” “真抱歉，这次，我帮不了你的忙了。”她回答道，一边又继续说：“这次，顶多，我也只能送你到墓前。”夫人的话犹如晴天霹雳，商人一下子懵了。
Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!"
正在这时，只听得有人声嘶力竭地说：“我愿随你而去，不论你到哪里。”商人抬头一看，是大老婆。只见她面容憔悴，瘦骨嶙峋， 似乎好多天没怎么吃东西了。见此情景， 商人悲从心头起，凄惨地说：“早知今日，何必当初。”
Actually, we all have 4 wives in our life.
The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die.
Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.
The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.
The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.
Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it's a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament.
这小老婆就是我们的肉体。不管我们如何呵护它， 一旦我们死去， 它就会远离我们而去。
纵观所述，想一想，至亲者，谁？其实，至亲者，灵魂也！如今， 一个不错的主意也许就是要善待我们的灵魂， 而不是等到我们弥留之际再作无谓的叹息。