PureInsight | December 31, 2006
expression "only the ordinary people trouble themselves" means the
ordinary people like to stir things up and trouble themselves. It was
first used in the Lu Huiangxhian Biography: The world is peaceful and only the ordinary people like to bother you and stir things up.
During Tang Dynasty Emperor Rui Zong's rule, there was a man named Lu
Huiangxian who was an official in the imperial court. He was not only
very knowledgeable and competent but also tolerant and honest in his
advice to the Emperor. The Emperor thought highly of him but one time
he angered the Emperor and was banished to Yi Zhou as a lower rank
After he went to Yi Zhou, he was very kind and generous to the local
people. He did not even like to punish the criminals physically. His
assistant said," People here are very stubborn and very hard to manage.
You need to have a system to punish them harshly, otherwise you will
not be able to not establish your reputation and people will not fear
you." Lu Huiangxhian shook his head and said, "I see it entirely
different. If you manage the people's affairs well, there will be
social stability. The people will love to work hard and enjoy their
lives. They will then obey you. So why do I need to punish them heavily
to build my reputation?"
As a result, Lu Huiangxian managed Yi Zhou according to his own ideas.
One time an officer committed some wrongdoings. Lu just verbally
reprimanded him and told him not to repeat such mistakes. His assistant
said, "This is too light, and he should be severely flogged." Lu
Huiangxhian said solemnly to his assistant, "All of us have feelings,
and those feelings are by and large alike. I reprimanded him. Don't you
think he understood what I said? Furthermore, he is your subordinate.
When he does something wrong, aren't you responsible, too? If I
should punish people physically, I should start with you first.
His assistant was very embarrassed and backed off.
Lu Huiangxhian often told his subordinates, "The world was quite
peaceful, only the ordinary people who are shallow and incompetent like
to stir things up and trouble themselves, and therefore they mess up
the little things. I think if we can resolve our problem from the root
cause, there would be less trouble."
Lu Huiangxhian indeed managed Yi Zhou very well; the people were happy and all the local officials admired him.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2006/12/23/41479.html