Understandings on Life: A Person's Integrity Speaks for Them

Guan Ming

PureInsight | March 30, 2009

[PureInsight.org] History is like a mirror. Looking at it can reveal many details. Reading history makes one feel as if transcending time and space, replaying a video of past scenes. There are many things that happened in history, and we can learn a lot from them by reading history books. Shiji, a history masterpiece written by the ancient historian Shi Maqian, is one example of such a book. Today, as I picked up Shiji, I noticed one ancient proverb in it: “A person's integrity speaks for them.”

This proverb came from the biography of General Li in Shiji. It is written, “General Li was not good at talking. However, upon his death, people everywhere mourned for him because of his loyalty and sincerity to others. That is, a person's integrity speaks for them.”

These words are referring to Li Guang, a well-known general in the Xihan Dynasty. Being both wise and brave, General Li made great contributions in defending against enemy invaders. In addition to his martial arts skills, he was also well-known for caring about his soldiers. One day when marching in cold weather, General Li saw a soldier with injured legs walking with great difficulty. He got off his horse and asked the soldier to ride on it while gently consoling the soldier. All the soldiers who witnessed this were touched. When stopping for a break, it was found that the troops had a limited supply of food. General Li gave his own share of food to the injured soldier and slept with an empty stomach that night.

Such sincerity and caring earned trust from the soldiers. Although General Li did not talk about these, the soldiers were touched and thus fought bravely against their enemies. When word came that General Li had died, all the soldiers, as well as some civilians, were in tears. Shi Maqian recorded this in Shiji and praised General Li.

In fact, showing off is a bad habit. A person's virtue will be noticed by others even if they themselves do not talk about it. This is a level of a spiritual realm. I think as practitioners, we should also remain humble in the course of assimilating to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/2/14/57822.html


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