Story from History: Being Tolerant Allows Several Generations to Live Under One Roof

Hong Yi

PureInsight | September 17, 2006

[] During the
Tang Dynasty, in the city of Luzhou there was a farming family of five
generations living under the same roof. When Emperor Taizong of the
Tang Dynasty led an army to suppress a rebellion in Bingzhou, he made a
stop at the farmer's home. The Emperor called all the elder members of
the family and asked them, "What is the secret to having five
generations living under one roof?" The farmers replied, "We have
nothing special other than all being tolerant." The emperor commended

In Zhang Gongyi's family, nine generations were living
together. The Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty (Son of the Emperor
Taizong) went to his home in person and asked him what the key was to
have nine generation living together. Zhong Gongyi replied to him by
writing the character, "Tolerance." The Emperor was moved to tears, and
rewarded him with many silks and satins.

In the book "Yuan's Paradigms of Behavior"
it says that, "For those families that have lived harmoniously for a
long time, the fundamental reason is being tolerant. However, thing can
go wrong even more if one only passively tolerates without knowing how
to tolerate. Some people practice tolerance as hiding anger in their
hearts when they are offended, but that can only work a couple of
times. When the grievance is accumulated to a certain point and breaks
out, like a flood shattering the dike, it can't be held back. It is
better to let go of one's anger at the time, not to be concerned by it,
thinking that person didn't do it on purpose, or that person was
ignorant or it was accidental [putting oneself in the others'
shoes—editor], not to care in one's heart about the person or the
matter, thinking ‘even if he offends me ten time a day, I will not
show grievance in my language or unhappiness in my look.' Only this is
real tolerance."

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