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Respectfully Cautious

The Governing Principles of Ancient China - Qunshu Zhiyao 360

Social Customs

When all the wise ministers can work with one another harmoniously in the government, then all things outside the government will also exist harmoniously with one another. So there is no reason why peace cannot prevail in the world.

Scroll 15: Han Shu, Vol. 3

When everybody establishes a composed and respectful nature, and discreetly cultivates a virtuous conduct, no criminals can hope to escape from punishment and no innocent people will have to live in worry and fear. People stop trying to curry favor, and bribery no longer works. Thus, people become calm with few grievances. This state of affairs is known as the “correct social custom.”

Scroll 46: Shen Jian

The leader and his ministers are close to each other within the boundary of proper protocol. Officials remain cordial toward each other albeit they hold different points of view. They give way to one another and do not clamor for credit. They work hard with no complaints. In times of stability, they keep firmly to their respective duties. These are signs of a country that is enjoying stability and peace.

Scroll 46: Shen Jian

In ancient times, people were appointed to government posts because they were virtuous and gifted. Today, people are appointed because they have money and powerful connections.

Scroll 23: Hou Han Shu, Vol. 3

When higher ranking officials are arrogant and lower ranking officials are harsh and brutal, they will cause thieves and bandits to band and plot mischief. Valuable belongings that are not properly kept and hidden become targets for thieves and robbers. When attires and dispositions are overtly sensuous, they have the effect of seducing others to commit sexual misconduct.

Scroll 1: Zhou Yi

The problem with most people is that they would rather mourn for the dead than to love the living, and to regret the past than to plan for the future. They love to talk about the past, and argue over things that have already been done. They waste their time and refuse to face the future until the day they die.

Scroll 46: Zhong Lun