Transforming People with Virtue

December 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Asia, Children's Stories, Culture, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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Author: Zhi Zhen

[] Wang Li’e lived during the East Han. He was fair, kind, and knew right from wrong.  He liked to use virtue to transform the local people and they all respected him very much.

Once someone stole a cow and got caught. The thief knelt on the ground and begged, “Please just take me directly to the city court and I am willing to be punished by the official. But please do not let Wang Li’e know about this.”

After Wang heard about it, he immediately sent someone to apologize to the cow owner. Meanwhile, he sent the thief a bolt of cloth. Everyone thought that was strange but no one understood why. One person inquired about the reason and Wang Li’e said, “This thief knows about shame. People who can feel ashamed will change and become good. I did that to encourage him to correct his wrong doing and become a good person.”

Later, Wang’s father lost a precious sword. Someone found the sword and waited by the roadside. By the evening, Wang’s father went back to look for the sword and that person returned it to him. Wang’s father was moved and asked his name. It turned out that he was the cow thief.

The local residents all want Wang Li’e to mediate when they had conflicts or arguments. Because Wang Li’e like to teach people about virtue, some of them walked half way to his house and were willing to yield and peacefully resolved their conflicts. Some even felt ashamed when they saw his house and both parties gave in and returned home. It is obvious that virtue is so powerful that it can transform people more deeply and far better than punishment.

Some time later, Wang Li’e moved to the remote area and lived with Yi Tribe due to the turmoil in the kingdom. The local Yi people started learning morality and decency from Wang. When Cao Cao, the King of the East Han, heard about that, he sent someone to recruit him as an official. Wang Li’e declined.

Wang Li’e lived an uncorrupted life and was kind, so many people admired him for that.

In Chinese history, all of the people who had noble characters were highly respected.  Obviously, the influence of virtue overshadows all other forces. Mighty power can not convince people or win them over. Only virtue and conscience can be the foundation and the root of life. Therefore, upholding the truth of the universe is the destination of the soul.


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