Ma Vien grew up as an orphan. Life was very hard but he was undaunted. He used to tell his friends, “When you face great suffering, you should strengthen your resolve; when you become old, you should become even more unrelenting in your resolve.”
Therefore, Ma Vien worked very hard. He vigorously cultivated the fields, took great care of his animals and eventually became very wealthy. However, he did not rest on his laurels. He often told his friends, “Those who are rich should understand that they are to use their wealth to help the poor and unfortunate. Otherwise, they are just slaves to their wealth and would be wasting their lives guarding it. What’s so great about that?