Famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) once wrote: “Ah! Realize your youth while you have it.” He pointed out the important truth about how precious youth is in one’s journey through life.
What does it mean to “think like a Buddhist”? FILE PHOTO
However, the popular internet slang word foxi – or “Buddhist” – is challenging this norm by encouraging young people to remain calm and peaceful and avoid conflict as much as possible – in other words, to live like a Buddha.
然而，近来的网络热词“佛系”却质疑了上述说法，它鼓励年轻人心态平和，尽量避免冲突 —— 换句话说，就是像佛陀一样生活。
The phrase was reportedly created in Japan in 2014 to describe young men who no longer bother to start relationships with women or follow someone else’s life path. They prefer to stay in their own peaceful world without being disturbed and care little about passion and success.
Now, Chinese internet users are pairing the phrase with other words to describe a similar mindset. For example, “Buddhist students” are those who study just the right amount – they don’t cut class, but they don’t burn the midnight oil, either. There are also “Buddhist parents”, who interfere little with their children’s lives and let them develop however they like – the opposite of “helicopter parents”.
如今，中国网友还创造了一系列“佛系”衍生词来形容这一相似的心态。例如，“佛系学生”指的是适度学习的学生 —— 他们不会逃课，但也不会熬夜。还有“佛系父母”，他们不会过多干涉孩子的生活，让他们自由发展 —— 和望子成龙的“直升机父母”恰恰相反。
In this fast-changing and competitive world, it’s only natural that people are seeking a spiritual anchor.
However, some would compare foxi with “demotivational culture” – a phrase that describes young people who feel aimless and powerless. They say that foxi actually reflects the reality that young people are losing their will to fight. They are pretending to keep a healthy and wise attitude toward failure simply because they’re incapable of succeeding.
But no matter what, there is one thing that “Buddhist youngsters” should keep in mind: You may want to keep a calm mindset regarding failure, but you should also be passionate and positive about school, work and life.
After all, Wilde also wrote: “Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”