Zhao Jing, the Elder Stateman

Yi Dou

PureInsight | December 24, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Zhao Jing, a
censor for Ming Emperor Shi Zong, was arrested because he recommended
that the Emperor impeach Prime Minister Yang Song. He was brought back
to the capitol in handcuffs and shackles from thousands of miles away.
During the journey, he fell off the cart a few times and was run over
by the cart once.

After he was put in jail, a businessman sharing the same cell with him
saw his battered body and said, "If you give the prison guard 60 gold
units, you may be able to save your legs tomorrow." Shao Jing said, "I
don't even care whether I can keep my head; why should I worry about my
legs?" His cell mate, however, talked to the guards on Zhao's behalf.
As a result, nothing happened to him next day at his trial. Prime
Minister Yang Song recommended a punishment of 100 floggings, but
Emperor Shi Zong refused and dismissed Zhao Jing from his job instead.

Fifteen years later, when Ming Mu Zong became the emperor, Zhao Jing
was called back to serve. On his way to Guizhou to become an inspector,
he passed by Yang Song's grave. Yang Song died in poverty and misery
after his wealth was confiscated. Seeing the weeds all over Yang Song's
grave, Zhao Jing found the local official in charge, and asked the
grave be cared for. Later Zhao was dismissed for offending Prime
Minister Zhang Juzheng. After the death of Zhang Juzheng, Zhao Jing was
called back to serve again in the Ministry of the Interior. Because
Zhao Jing was so generous and forgiving, people said that he was an
elder stateman.

This story tells us a principle: an ordinary person would use his
position to get revenge, and a noble person would let go of grievance;
that's why he can earn the reputation of "an elder stateman."

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2006/12/16/41391.html

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