Some Thoughts in Life: Between Virtue and Talent

Qing Yun

PureInsight | October 8, 2007


Between Virtue and Talent

There is not necessarily a link between one's virtue and talent.

Everybody knows Qin Hui was a treacherous official who trumped up a
charge against a faithful and upright general in the Song dynasty. From
historical records, Qin Hui was good at recording events. He was also
eloquent and good at trivial things. Every time when there was an
outing party for fun, he was always the one selected to handle the
event. He did well when he was a candidate in the highest imperial
examination. During the reign of Emperors Jing and Kang, he was
promoted to imperial censor.  

Perhaps because of his cleverness in trivial matters, Qin Hui colluded
with Jin, a country situated on the northern border of central China.
He made slanderous remarks about the general to Emperor Gaozong in
order to eliminate the general who was a huge obstacle for the Jin in
their invasion of the Song dynasty. One can clearly see that righteous
and virtuous people use their talents to bring benefits to other
people, while people without goodness in hearts use their talents to
gain benefit for themselves and cause common people to suffer. They
will surely incur infamy and shame to themselves later.

Our forefathers spoke of accumulating merit. It is surely plausible.
For example, General Li Guang, of the Han dynasty, was brave and
resourceful and always empathized with his soldiers but didn't receive
noble rank for his achievements. He committed suicide later because of
feelings of humiliation. Later, his whole family was executed because
his grandson surrendered to the Huns. From the Historical Records - Biographies of General Li,
we can actually find the answer. When General Li Guang inquired of Wang
Shuo, a Taoist, as to why his fate had not been good, the Taoist asked
him whether he had ever done anything he regretted deeply. Li Guang
said: "I was once the prefecture chief for the Longxi region. When the
Qiang nationality rebelled, I lured more than eight hundred people to
surrender. Then I used a deceitful trick to execute them all. This is
the most regrettable thing I have done." Wang Shuo said: "There is
nothing more culpable than killing innocent people who have
surrendered. This is the reason why you have not been rewarded with a

Talent is like a gorgeous outer garment. But whether it can keep out
the cold in one's destiny depends on whether one has virtue to rely on.

Heaven's Will Cannot Be Violated

Often people are not aware that one cannot use his talent to do as he pleases. There are many examples of this.

Emperor Zhou, in the ancient Shang dynasty, was gifted and bright. He
was eloquent, capable of fast action, and could understand many things
at once. He had surpassing physical strength and could wrestle a wild
animal barehanded. But he was perverse and refused to accept any
suggestions from his officials. He thought he was smarter than everyone
else in the world. He persecuted able and virtuous people, mutilated
citizens and imposed heavy taxation. He did not worship the gods. He
was addicted to drinking and was vicious beyond measure. He finally
invited destruction.

Humans have a standard for human existence. When a person relies on his
talent to harm others, he is already walking on the road of no return.

Paul Joseph Goebbels, Minister of the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda, was
an outstanding student from the time he was very young. He excelled in
writing and delivering speeches. He depended on scholarship to bypass
an arduous life. He studied at eight universities including Bonn
University, Frankfurt University, Berlin University, and Heidelberg
University. He studied extensively in these well-known universities. He
specialized in philosophy, history, literature, and the arts, and
excelled in Latin and Greek. When he was 24, he obtained a doctorate in
philosophy from Heidelberg University. He joined Hitler in 1926 and
became the Minister of the Nazi Party Ministry of Propaganda in 1929.
In March, 1933, he was appointed Minister of Compulsory Education and
the Ministry of Propaganda. Goebbels' talents were fully utilized
during the next 12 years in these positions. He controlled all of the
propaganda machines in Nazi Germany. He advertised warfare frenziedly,
promoted racism, adulated Hitler, and implemented fascist cultural

Just like all dictators in history, in order to legalize the Nazi
Party's fascist rule and allow only one voice and one party in Germany,
he forced people's consciousness into agreement with Nazi ideology and
serving the Nazi homeland. He knew the Nazi's had to control ideology
in order to implement mind control of the German people. Goebbels once
said that if a lie were repeated a thousand times, it would become the
truth. First of all, he launched an impressive book burning movement in
the country. In the meantime, he imposed rigorous control of the press,
publications, broadcasting, and movies. He established a unified
artists' organization, the German Cultural Association. Its goal was to
abolish all media ideologies that opposed the Nazi Party. All
publications or stage performances had to be approved by the Ministry
of Propaganda. Goebbels especially firmly controlled broadcasting,
which was the main means of propaganda in society at the time, because
of its rapid delivery of information and wide influence. He knew he had
to firmly control broadcasting. Under his meticulous control, the whole
German public opinion was in a frenzied fascist atmosphere. Many people
became fanatic Nazi supporters and direct participants in fascist

On November 9, 1938, Goebbels plotted the incident of Reichskristallnacht, the "Crystal Night," to attack Jews.

On May 1, 1945, the day following Hitler's suicide, Goebbels poisoned
his 6 children and then committed suicide together with his wife.

Concluding Remarks

Many events that have happened in history have amazing similarities.
When we read about what had happened in the past, it seems very similar
to what has happened around us.

It is said that God's way is higher than man's. Regardless of the
meticulously plotted "Tiananmen Self-Immolation," the implementation is
still full of loopholes. This is a proof.

Every one walks on his or her own path. Sometime a careless choice can decide one's future.

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