Correcting One’s Wrongdoings Changes One’s Fate

January 15, 2010 at 8:13 am | Posted in Asia, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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Posted by Melina Chan on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

(Source: Tales of Wisdom) – Click here for audio version of this story

In the Ming Dynasty, a man named Zhang Weiyan in Jiangyin, of Jiangsu Province, was a skilled writer. He was quite well-known in his region. In the year of Jiawu, he went on to the court exams but failed. Under the bulletin of the exam results he cursed the judges who scored his exams very low, feeling they did not recognize people who had true knowledge.At that moment, a Taoist passed by and heard him. He smiled and said, “I can tell that your writings must be bad!”

Correcting One's Wrongdoings Changes One's Fate (Source: Zhang Cuiying)

Zhang Weiyan then vented his anger on him, “Why do you laugh at me? You have not read my articles, how do you know that my writings are bad?” The Taoist said, “I heard the key to writing is that one needs to be at peace and maintain a calm heart. You are now cursing the judges. You must be very angry. How can you write a good article if this is what your character is like?” Zhang Weiyan thought what he said was very rational, and then sincerely asked him for help

The Taoist said, “Your writing certainly needs to be good. However, if you are destined to fail, even good writing will not help you. The fundamental solution is to change your attitude.” Zhang Weiyan asked him, “How can I change my attitude?” The Taoist replied, “If you can follow the words of heaven and do good deeds, what else can’t you do?”

Zhang Weiyan sighed, “I am just a poor scholar. Where can I find enough money to do good deeds?” The Taoist said, “Be compassionate and cultivate your virtue, the most important thing lies in your heart. It requires us to bear kindness in our heart at all times. We need to be more humble and ready to help others. The motivation of helping needs to be pure. Follow the heavenly principle. For example, one doesn’t need money to be humble. You can achieve this without being rich. Why don’t you examine yourself instead of cursing the judges? This action becomes your fault.” Zhang Weiyan was moved. He thanked the Taoist.

Since then, Zhang Weiyan had been very kind and strict with himself. He cultivated his virtue and became a person with high morality. He established schools, and instructed the local people. He taught them to avoid wrongdoing and perform good deeds no matter how minor the situation. He encouraged people to be kind to each other. He was highly praised.

One day three years later, Zhang Weiyan had a dream. He dreamt that he entered a large house. There was a book with names listed, but with many blank spaces. He asked a person standing nearby about the blank spaces. That person told him, “This is a list of names that will be accepted this fall. If a name appeared here and that person has not committed any wrongdoings, his name will be kept. The blank spaces are those who could have been accepted but committed wrongdoings. Therefore their names were removed. During the past three years, you have been kind to others. Your name was added. If you can keep doing this, you will build virtues in the future. I hope you can be strict with yourself.” Indeed, Zhang Weiyan passed the court exams that year. Later he did perform many good deeds for his people.

Heaven will protect kind people. It is natural that those who are kind will be repaid! No matter where you are, which profession you choose and what kind of environment you are in, you can be a good person. Do good deeds and keep a compassionate heart at all times, and virtue will grow. One can then enjoy a bright future.

(Clearwisdom.net)

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