Teaching Materials from Chinese Culture: Employing Shan in Our Relationship with Others

PureInsight | January 28, 2007

[PureInsight.org] [Note:
In order to promote true traditional Chinese culture and clear away the
influence the evil Chinese Communist Party has had on that culture, the
Teaching Materials Editorial Team, composed of Falun Gong practitioners
in the educational field, have systematically put together a set of
teaching materials. Some of the materials will be translated into
English because we feel they may benefit Western readers.]

Original Article:

Kong Zi says: Yan Ping Zhong maintains a heart of benevolence in his
relationship with others and, as time goes by, everyone respects him.

(Notes from Translator:

Kong Zi: Confucius.

Yan Ping Zhong: A virtuous official in the Qi State during the Warring
States Period of ancient China, which lasted from sometime in the 5th Century BC to 221 BC.

Shan: Chinese word for benevolence, kindness or compassion.)

Further Understanding:

Yan Ping Zhong was unfailingly kind in his relationship with others. As
time went by, people around him were able to experience the power of
Shan, changed their own behaviour accordingly and deeply respected Yan
Ping Zhong. Confucius used this as an example to demonstrate to his
students the practical application and the power of Shan.  

Related stories from history:

Having Great Virtue Enables One to Forbear and Benefit the World

Mr. Cheng Jing was a scholar from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127)
who showed a lot compassion for the commoners. His motto was "always
treat people with care as if they were sick patients." When he was the
governor of Fu Gou County, he helped resolve a lot of difficulties for
the locals.   

A few days into his job, he overheard that the drinking water for the
locals was salty, so he asked one of his advisors, "Has it always been
like this?" The advisor replied, "Only the water from the well near the
monastery is slightly better, but women are forbidden to obtain water
from that location."

After thinking through the issue and having discussed with his
advisors, Cheng Jing asked for another well to be drilled a short
distance from the monastery and solved the problem for the locals. The
locals were very grateful and said, "This problem has bothered us for
years but Governor Cheng resolved it for us as soon as he got here."

A senior supervisor Wang Zhengzhong was very close to the Emperor.
Wherever Wang went, the local officials would spend a lot of money to
hold banquets to welcome him. Once when he was coming to Fu Gou County.
One of Cheng Jing's subordinates asked Cheng how Wang should be
welcomed. Cheng said, "Our County does not have a lot of wealth, we
cannot spend too much money to please Wang like other counties do.
Further more, our money came from the local residents, we should not
waste it on activities such as these." The righteousness of Cheng
shocked Wang, who never came to Fu Gou County as long as Cheng Jing was
the governor there.


Cheng Jing once wrote to his friend, "I employ the principle of being
benevolent and virtuous, and teach and change the local commoners with
this principle." On one occasion, a local was captured for stealing;
Cheng Jing said to him, "If you repent sincerely and stop what you're
doing, I can reduce your punishment." However, this person later on
committed the same crime again. When the police came for him, he
committed suicide because he could not face Cheng Jing with a clear

When Cheng Jing was leaving his post, the locals stood at the border of
the County and cried and asked him not to leave them.   

Cheng Jing also worked in other places as governors. As the head of
these places, his personal principle has always being to touch the
locals' hearts with his own virtue and behaviour. When he was the
governor for Shang Yuan County, a big dam burst which required
immediate repair; any delay could mean a great shortage of water for
the rice paddies. But the repair required a lot of human resources and
it would be too late if he were to obtain the permission from the
central government first.

Cheng Jing quickly made a decision and organised the locals to repair
the dam before reporting the situation to his seniors. One of his
subordinates asked him, "Aren't you aware that by doing this, you may
be punished by your superiors?" Cheng replied, "I have no other choice.
If we waited for the central government to send people to repair the
dam, the rice paddies would have been dried up and next year these
farmers would have had to go without food. Furthermore, I'm doing it
for the local residents. Even if I am punished, it would still have
been the right thing to do."

Under Cheng's personal supervision, the dam was quickly repaired and
the harvest for the next year was plentiful. The farmers all said, "We
are so lucky to have such a virtuous and kind-hearted governor, who
understands our worries and concerns."

There is an ancient Chinese philosophy - "To be concerned about the
world's concerns and to be joyous about the world's joys". Officials
who were educated with this kind of philosophy will have a strong
conscience to help the people of the world, and be actively concerned
about the commoners' sufferings and happiness. From another standpoint,
these officials will also try to "change others with their own virtues
and righteous behaviours". This has always been the political
philosophy of the Confuciuan school.   

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2006/12/29/41559.html

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