1 What is a hidden virtue? It is a virtue that was exercised unknowingly. Everyone knows how to accumulate virtues and merits. Do good deeds. Each deed that is kind counts for one virtue. Doing a hundred good deeds counts for one hundred virtues. Hidden virtues are most significant.
2 There are people who have tremendous hardships at home, and who are unable to feed themselves. They are ashamed of losing face; to save face, they tell no one. Many have very nice parents and families, but they failed in their respective careers, and are down on their luck; therefore, they are unable to support parents or wife, or provide for their own health needs. Since they have told no one, none of their relatives or friends is aware of their difficulties. This is referred to as “hidden poverty,” and the act of helping hidden poverty is called a hidden virtue.
3 Most women put great emphasis on their reputation and integrity. Some are willing to defend them with their lives. Not slandering a woman’s reputation and integrity is called virtue of speech. The virtue of speech is also a hidden virtue.
4 One careless act of gossip can ruin someone else’s reputation and integrity. Therefore, we must take special care of respecting a woman’s reputation, integrity, and honor. This is called “keeping the virtue of speech.”
5 In a worse scenario, some like to provoke right and wrong in secrecy, creating conflicts. People who create or promote conflicts have no “virtue of speech” and their acts injure their hidden virtues. Lord Wenchang’s Text of Hidden Virtues emphasizes the importance of virtue of speech and hidden virtues.
The Leili’a Dao Center, July 2, 1992