Thoughts on Life: Intelligent People Do Not Compete with Others

Guan Ming

PureInsight | September 19, 2007

[] "Winning is
everything" is ordinary people's perception. Enlightened people and
wise men are able to bear insults without anger or worry. They do not
argue or compete with others. What makes their characters so noble is
that they can forbear, can overlook gains and losses, and maintain a
calm and peaceful mind.

When Confucius was traveling among different kingdoms to spread his
teachings, one day he saw two hunters arguing until their faces turned
red. Confucius inquired and found out that they were arguing about a
simple problem in arithmetic. The short hunter said that three times
eight equals 24 but the tall hunter said that it was 23. Both parties
insisted that they were right and almost had a fistfight. Finally they
decided to have a sage be the judge and the winner would get all the
game from the loser.

The two of them heard that the third party was Confucius and
immediately asked him to be the judge. Confucius told the short hunter
to give the game to the tall hunter. The tall hunter took the game and
left happily. The short hunter, of course, was unhappy about the
outcome. He asked in anger, "Three times eight is 24. Even a little kid
knows that. You are a sage and you think it should be 23. You are a

Confucius laughed and answered, "You are right that three times eight
equal 24 and that is the truth and not even the little kids will argue
about. If you know the truth and uphold it, it is good enough. Why did
you argue with someone so foolish about something so simple? He may
have gained something today, but he will be foolish forever. You have
lost your game, but you have learned a good lesson." When the short
hunter heard that, he nodded his head again and again and was very
impressed with Confucius' character.

There is no need to argue about the truth. Lies always disintegrate in
front of the truth. For that reason, it is not necessary to fight hard
when you have been misunderstood or blamed. It is better that you back
off a little and stay calm and peaceful. Because the truth is like gold
being buried in the dirt, it will shine splendidly sooner or later.

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