Story from History: Consider the Overall Situation Irrespective of Personal Resentment

Hong Yi

PureInsight | October 8, 2006

[] Kou Xun, a
county governor of Yinchuan during the East Han Dynasty, was a person
who knew how to consider the overall situation. One time when Jia Fu,
an official from the capital, traveled to Runan County, a minor officer
under him committed murder in Yingchuan. Kou Xun ordered the official
arrested and beheaded him in public. When Jia Fu heard about it, he
became very angry. He thought that Kou Xun had intentionally done it to
embarrass him. Soon, Jia Fu was on his way back to the capital of
Luoyang. As they approached Yingchuan, Jia Fu said to his assistants,
"When I see Kou Xun, I must kill him with my own hands!"

Kou Xun knew that Jia Fu wouldn't let the matter drop. So he decided to
avoid Jia Fu and not see him. An officer under him said to Kou Xun:
"Are you afraid of Jia Fu? I will be next to you with my sword. If he
dares to take any action, I won't go easy on him."

Kou Xun said with sincerity, "Do you know the story of Lian Po and Lin
Xiang Ru? Lin Xiang Ru was wise and brave, even the King of Qin was
afraid of him. However when Lian Po was making trouble for him, Lin
Xiang Ru compromised. Why was it? Because he placed the interest of the
country above his personal conflicts! If he could do it, why can't I?"

However, Jia Fu was a major official from the capital. When he stopped
by Ying Chuan, it was not reasonable for Kou Xun not to greet him. So
Kou Xun instructed his people to prepare a sumptuous feast for Jia Fu.
When Jia Fu and his entourage arrived, Kou Xun's officials warmly
presented the good food and fine wine to them. When they just finished
eating, Kou Xun suddenly came over and expressed his welcome. Then he
made an excuse and left in a hurry. Jia Fu right away asked somebody to
chase after him. But all his people were drunk; they could do nothing
but watch as Kou Xun walked away.

Kou Xun did not fight with Jia Fu not because he was weak and
incapable. If he did not back off and instead fought face to face with
Jia Fu, the hatred between them would have become deeper and resentment
stronger, and no problem would have been solved. By taking a step back,
he found a way to benefit both him and the country.

Translated from:

Add new comment