Have you ever pondered the existence of a vital point, a concealed trigger either on the physical body or within the depths of the spiritual mind, like the intriguing concept of a “dead point” in Chinese martial arts? A “dead point” is a point that is usually hidden under the surface, but it functions so strongly that if others find it and anyone touches it, it can trigger a serious consequence. Does it sound like a magic?  Almost magical, isn’t it?

I admit that I first encountered the “dead point” when I was back in my middle school days, reading Jin Yong’s fiction novel. Jin Yong, also known as Louis Cha, is a renowned Chinese martial arts novelist. His novel is often set in ancient China; his novel blends elements of adventure,  romance, and martial arts. Jin Yong’s novels are celebrated for their well-developed characters and vivid storytelling.

The martial arts world described in his novels is filled with honor, betrayal, love, and epic battles. Jin Yong’s storytelling transports readers to a world where martial masters possess extraordinary skills that no common person can imagine, such as the people in his novels can walk above the lakes or roofs like on a flat road. Masters know which point is a vital point on a person’s body, and they control people by pressing the point to make them freeze and unable to move, lose control, or even become dead.

So, from Jin Yong’s novels,  I understand that everyone has a “vital point.”  Martial artists often skillfully use those ”vital points” to control the other party. The “vital point,” called the “dead point” in Chinese, is critical and can lead to the inability to move or even death. These points play a crucial role in the intricate world of martial arts described by Jin Yong. The characters always master those skills and can manipulate people by pressing those points with one finger so the other party becomes frozen by actions or even leads to death.

I loved that skill so much, and I was very curious to master it when I was in middle school. I dreamed about controlling those annoying boys in my class who tried to put bugs in my school bag. It was always one of the favorite scenes I had dreamed of when I was young.

However, as I inquired with aunts and uncles, and later, I knew that nobody around me had that skill or even heard of anyone who had that skill. To master that skill of controlling people’s vital points later faded away from my grownup. It was more like something fantastical than tangible.

After I became an adult, I soon realized that it was just like a legendary story, and there are no physical “vital points” for every human being at all. 

However, one day, I realized that there might not be a vital physical point on each human’s body so we can physically control others. Everyone does have “vital points,” not like a physical button but a button somewhere buried deeply in their mind or soul. That vital point will become a controlling button for the emotional trigger to get turned on.

Even evil people have a “vital point.”

I recently watched a new Chinese movie, “Under the Light, “which brought this truth to light. There’s an important actor whose name is Li Zhitian. He was the founder of  Jin Wu Group, which is a company worth 50 billion dollars.

He rose from humble beginnings and started from the grassroots, and he navigated his way and worked with gangsters and secret supporters, leaving a trail of ruthless actions in building his business empire.

He murdered and massacred lots of people in his years, building his business empire. He was a cruel, kill-without-blinking type of evil.

However, he does have a vital spot, that is his only daughter. He immediately turned into a loving, caring, considerate, and soft-hearted father in front of his daughter. He was worried and wept when he saw the daughter had lots of pain while delivering her baby. 

His heart got soft when his daughter’s Facetime came to his phone. He actually lost his mind and did not know what to do when his team was chasing the police, so he made a big mistake and lost his judgment when he heard his daughter cry beside him.

Reflecting on this, I recognized that everyone, no matter how formidable they appear, possesses a vital point. It was true that everyone had a vital point. That vital point can trigger the most tenderness and unbelievable emotion from a person’s inner heart. No matter how strong a person looked to outsiders.

My mom is a soft person except for one thing…

My mom was a soft person all her life. Everyone I knew said my mom is such a sweet, emphatic, and soft-hearted woman. She can easily make friends with almost everyone. Lots of people like her.

She used to have a BFF (best friend-forever) girlfriend I call her Aunt Y, and they grew up together in their first 30ish lives. I knew they were very good friends as I always saw them hang out together after work. Sometimes, I saw Aunt Y in my home, or my mother brought me to visit Aunt Y’s home. They will discuss everything together forever, starting from what hairstyle to make, how to make a new dish for the family, how to deal with a mean colleague, or what color of a high heel they should hunt for. Those were all my impressions when I was a little girl; I feel they may discuss everything, and they cannot live without each other.

However, one case happened, and their 40-ish years of friendship ended because of that. I could not believe that reason until one day, I had a similar feeling. 

Aunt Y visited me in my second year of graduation. At that time, I just started my career and worked as an entry-level staff member for a US company. 

As a custom, I invited her to dinner after work as she was new to that city. After Aunt Y went back to her city, Aunt Y joked with my mom that I was so cheap and took her to a cheap restaurant. She joked that I did not act like my mom as my mom was always generous to her good friends.

I trust that was just a joke from Aunt Y. However, that joke was a “vital point” to my mom as she can be an angel to almost everyone except when she gets a button pressed. That button was to say something unkind about her beloved daughter.

My mom became serious and argued with Aunt Y for that joke. Although Aunt Y apologized and said, that it was just a joke. But my mom would never allow that, even a joke, about her daughter. Their friendship ended there for that single reason.

I knew it years after that. I tried to persuade my mom to approach her BFF and repair the friendship, but my mom asked how can she say something bad about me. I told her it was not a big deal, but my mom’s vital point button had been pressed, and she just could not retrieve it. After 15 years, my mom said she met with Aunt Y on the street when she went back home; Aunt Y apologized to her again sincerely and wanted to repair the friendship. Finally, my mom accepted it as she knew i wanted her to have her BFF back. 

My own vital point 

I did not understand my mom’s feelings at all until recently when my vital button was pressured. 

My son got injured as he fell from an e-scooter. He broke his 3 teeth and was sent to emergency and had 3 stitches there. When I arrived, my heart was broken when I saw the blood on his pants and a new jacket, and he got bandages and swelling lips on his lovely face. He could hardly talk. 

I told a friend about his injury. My friend said that was not a big deal and boys should be strong and behave from that injury. That sentence suddenly turned my trigger on as I thought that person was not emphatic, did not know my feelings, and was not serious about my boy’s injury at all.

Of course, I realized that my vital point button had been pressed immediately, and I became irrational like my mom.

However, I did have that experience where my vital spot was pressed, and a strong electric feeling spread all over my body. I got anger triggered by an unemphysic attitude from my friend. As nobody would understand my feelings, I could even hear my heart was torn apart, and tears blurred my eyes. It’s not just something simple, “Be strong, be like a man,” that can be sent as a comforting sentence to a mom in that situation. 

Finding Strength in Vulnerability:

These experiences reveal a universal truth in our lives—we all possess vulnerable points, delicate threads that, when touched, trigger a cascade of emotions. Recognizing this, we find strength not only in resilience but in acknowledging our vulnerabilities. Just as the characters in Jin Yong’s novels navigate a world of martial arts, we navigate the inner souls and our emotions, understanding that behind every person lies a vital point waiting to be discovered.

So, the next time you find yourself faced with the unexpected—be it an injury, a strained friendship, or a dismissive remark—remember, within those moments lie opportunities for self-discovery and growth. After all, it’s in embracing our own vital points that we truly understand the depths of our humanity.