Story from History: Move People by One's Virtue and Correct the Wicked with Sincerity

Li Jian

PureInsight | March 12, 2006

[] According to Zi Zhi Tong Jian (The Great Historic Writings of Politicization),
during the Sui Dynasty, there was an army official called Jia Wang from
Qi Province. He was ordered to lead some guards and escort Can Li and
another 70 criminals to the capital city. All the criminals were in
chains. They climbed the mountains and crossed the rivers. After
innumerable hardships, they finally arrived at the city called Niao
Yang. Jia Wang ordered them to take a rest. All the criminals laid down
by the roadside two or three per group. Everyone complained about the
hardships they went through. The guards who escorted the criminals were
also utterly exhausted. Jia Wang looked at them and could not bear to
see their sufferings anymore. He called them together and said," You
deserved the punishment because you offended the law of the country.
But these people who have escorted you are innocent. They suffer the
same hardships as you. Don't you feel ashamed? "

Jia Wang's words made all the criminals feel too ashamed to show their
faces. Jia Wang issued an order to unlock the shackles for the
criminals and let the guards go home. Jia Wang told Can Li and the
other criminals," Now you do not need to endure the pain of the
shackles anymore and the guards do not need to accompany you and suffer
the hardship. You need to go to the capital city by yourself. But you
have to be there on the specified date. Otherwise, I have to die for

Can Li and other criminals were moved by Jia Wang's sincerity. They all
said: "Please do not worry. You cared about us, trust us, and we will
not break our promise. A person who gets Jia Wang in trouble will die a
horrible death."

The specified date arrived. All criminals arrived as scheduled. No one ran away.

After the Emperor Jian Yang heard about this story, he was very
surprised. He called for Jia Wang and praised what he did. He also
called for the criminals, their wives and their children. He bestowed a
feast for them and pardoned their crimes. The Emperor also issued a
decree, "All government officials must follow the example by Jia Wang,
to move the common people with their virtues. The common people should
behave like Can Li and others and change into kind people from evil
ones. If that happens, the world will be peaceful, and the day without
criminal law will arrive soon. "

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