Ancient Ways of Conduct: Gou Jubo's Courageous Righteousness Saves a Town


PureInsight | August 11, 2003

[] An ancient story of a man with very high virtue has been passed down over many generations. The man is Gou Jubo, who lived during the East Han Dynasty. As the story goes, Gou Jubo had traveled far to visit an invalid friend in a remote town. Unfortunately, just when Gou Jubo arrived, a northern barbarian tribe attacked this small town.

Gou Jubo's friend told him, "I am doomed today for sure. Save yourself. Leave this place without me as soon as possible."

Gou Jubo replied, "I have come a long way for you, and now you want me to leave without you. I, Gou Jubo, would never do such a despicable thing as forsaking my moral standards to save my own life!"

Soon the barbarian tribe's forces invaded the small town. When they saw Gou Jubo, they shouted at him, "With the arrival of our forces, all the residents of this town have fled for their lives. Who are you to be so bold as to stay here?"

Gou Jubo replied fearlessly, "My friend is too ill to leave town. I cannot leave him here. I am willing to trade my life for his."

The invaders stood in awe of Gou Jubo and started to discuss this unusual turn of events among themselves. One of them said, "It appears that we depraved people have entered a town of morality and justice." They all agreed. Thereupon they withdrew their forces and left the whole town untouched.

One righteous act not only saved a friend's life, but also saved a town. In such a world, even "the enemy" on the battlefield unexpectedly discarded their selfish interests to honor righteousness. The event demonstrated the high esteem with which people still regarded righteousness, even in warfare.

Just as the high moral character of Guo Yubo has been passed down to us from the East Han Dynasty, so, too, will the wrong-doing of Jiang, the Chinese dictator, be recorded in history. Only their stories will be retold as examples of the harm that is done to people by corrupt and immoral rulers.

Source: New Account of Tales of The World (or Shi Shuo Xin Yu in Chinese)

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