Be Generous and Forgiving

PureInsight | June 18, 2007

[] Wei Ba, a
high ranking official during the Eastern Han Dynasty, was from Juyang.
He came from a family that was well educated and knew right from wrong.
For generations, there were many high ranking officials in his family.
In dealing with people, Wei Ba followed one simply principle: Be
generous and forgiving.

When Wei Ba was little, both of his parents died and he lived with his
brothers. All of them lived harmoniously together and they were the
envy of the neighborhood. Wei Ba was praised as having a good character
and being uncorrupted early in his career. Later he was promoted to be
a governor. During his term, when his subordinates made mistakes, he
talked to them first and advised them to correct their mistakes. Only
those who were so stubborn that they refused to change would be
dismissed. Sometimes, when he heard critical remarks about others, he
always pointed out the strength of the one being criticized. In this
way, the fault-finder would be embarrassed and behave differently. As a
result, officials around him admired him and respected him.

Later, he was appointed as a general and was in charge of building a
palace. It was a harsh winter, so the construction was delayed.
Officials from the palace often punished the lower ranking officials
because of that. Wei Ba never reproached his subordinates but only
comforted them. He said, "It's all my fault that everyone is taking the
blame." His subordinates were very grateful for his kindness, so they
worked extra hard and, thus, the construction of the palace moved many
fold faster than expected.

Every one of us has shortcomings. If one uses one's position to
suppress others, one can only make others agreeable on the surface.
Only when one is generous and forgiving can one truly change others'
hearts. Wei Ba paid attention to cultivating his own character, was
generous and forgiving, and thought of others first. Consequently, he
won the trust, cooperation, and respect from people around him.

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