“Don’t borrow these 3 things, borrowing will shatter them”, what are these 3 things?

In ancient times, it was believed that borrowing these three things had a negative impact on the wealth and peace of a family. What are those things?


Solidarity and mutual assistance have become a precious cultural tradition of our nation. Whether it’s a small or large matter, neighbors are always willing to help each other.

In daily life, when necessary, they will borrow things from each other. However, there are three things that cannot be borrowed. If borrowed, the house can collapse. What are those three things?

First of all, the first thing that cannot be borrowed is incense for worship

In a more general sense, on festive occasions, every family usually goes to worship their ancestors and commemorate their deceased loved ones, and burning incense is an indispensable part of it.

Among the types of incense, agarwood is considered the most important. It is believed that through burning incense, they can establish a silent connection with their departed loved ones and seek blessings from their ancestors. Therefore, agarwood not only signifies respect but also represents the prosperity of the family.

Among the types of incense, agarwood is considered the most important.

With such significance, incense cannot be borrowed because it can devalue the spiritual value of the family. In the ancient viewpoint, the connection between generations is extremely precious, known as “inheritance aroma”. Therefore, people highly value accepting and transmitting these values.

Moreover, there is even an ancient proverb that says: “Three types of unfilial piety, the biggest is having no one to carry on the family line”, which shows the importance of maintaining the family bloodline. Therefore, borrowing incense for worship in the house is not only unacceptable but also understood and respected by everyone.

The second thing that cannot be borrowed is the medicinal pot for boiling herbs

The second thing that cannot be borrowed is the medicinal pot, a common item in daily life used to boil traditional herbs. Although the ancient medicinal pots were simpler, usually made of earthenware, fundamentally, not lending a medicinal pot is not because of stinginess but for a different reason.

First of all, medicinal pots are usually made of clay, a material that has a special characteristic that when boiling herbs, the pot will absorb some of the medicinal effects from the components in the herbs. This makes the medicinal pot mainly contain residual medicinal substances.

First of all, medicinal pots are usually made of clay, a material that has a special characteristic that when boiling herbs, the pot will absorb some of the medicinal effects from the components in the herbs.

Once a medicinal pot is borrowed and used by someone else, the pot will be different compared to when used by the owner. Moreover, the types of medicinal herbs in traditional medicine are often combined in a special way to achieve optimal effectiveness, due to concerns about side effects and interactions between the components in the herbs.

Traditional medicine is very strict in prescribing and using medicine, and during the process of boiling herbs, the doctor cannot control the use of concentrated herbal medicines. Improper use of herbal medicines can cause serious side effects and even generate new toxins.

Therefore, not lending a medicinal pot is not only to avoid mixing different types of herbs and unwanted effects, but also for the sake of safety for oneself and the family’s health. This has become a long-standing regulation in traditional medicine.

The third thing is even more strange, it is the knives that we use in the kitchen every day

The third thing is even more noteworthy, it is the knives that we usually use in the kitchen every day. Although everyone has a broken knife in daily life, there is still a reason why borrowing a knife is not accepted.

The main reason is directly related to the economic and technological development in ancient times. Compared to modern technology, the technology in the past was very different. The ancient people mainly mastered the smelting of iron and forging other metals to meet the daily needs of life. This made the production of iron tools difficult and inflexible.

Therefore, knives naturally became important but rare and expensive objects. Although blacksmiths can be found within ten miles in eight villages, each knife requires a considerable amount of time to make, and in each household, there is usually only one knife. So, borrowing a knife from someone else may leave the family without a tool to use.

Furthermore, each knife in the family is usually marked to avoid confusion or loss. If someone borrows a knife and uses it for illegal purposes, it can cause unnecessary legal troubles and even threaten lives. Therefore, to ensure safety, dangerous and valuable objects like knives are generally not allowed to be randomly borrowed.

Frequently asked questions

Firstly, incense for worship is considered sacred and integral to ancestral connections and blessings. Borrowing incense could devalue the spiritual significance attached to it. Secondly, medicinal pots made of clay absorb medicinal properties, and lending them could lead to unintended health consequences due to herb interactions. Lastly, knives, being valuable and potentially dangerous, are not lent out for safety reasons and to avoid legal complications.

Agarwood incense is believed to facilitate a spiritual connection with departed loved ones and bring ancestral blessings. Its significance lies in respecting the deceased and seeking prosperity for the family.

Clay pots have the unique property of absorbing medicinal properties from the herbs boiled in them. This means that lending a medicinal pot could result in the mixing of residual medicinal substances, potentially causing unwanted side effects or interactions.

In ancient times, metalworking technology was less advanced, and the production of iron tools like knives was challenging and time-consuming. Each knife required significant effort to create, making them valuable and scarce.
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