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Home Qunshu Zhiyao 360 Uphold Integrity

The Art Of A Minister

The Governing Principles of Ancient China - Qunshu Zhiyao 360

Uphold Integrity

Looking at the individuals in history who have made great contributions to the society, it is evident that they all had accumulated outstanding and remarkable stories through their endurance against innumerable physical strains and hardships. As well, they were assiduously thoughtful, they never let their studies go to waste, and they never changed their ideals despite poverty.

Scroll 28: Wu Zhi, Vol. 2

Wise ministers do not fawn upon their leader to the extent that will corrupt his virtues. They also do not fawn upon the masses just to gain their favor. Neither will they benefit themselves at the expense of the public interests, nor do they hinder the enforcement of laws for the fear of powerful adversaries. They are wise enough to recognize the crafty and the evil. They conform to morality and justice, and their integrity prevents them from forming factions to advance their personal interests.

Scroll 44: Qian Fu Lun

Once upon a time, the great scholar and government minister, Yang Zhen, was promoted to become the prefect of Donglai prefecture. During his travel to Donglai via Changyi county, he was approached in the middle of the night by a man called Wang Mi, who had been nominated by Yang Zhen to become the magistrate of Changyi county. Wang Mi brought with him 10 kilograms of gold as a gift. Yang Zhen was appalled and upset at the sight of this gift. He said to Wang Mi: “As your old friend I understand you very well. But you don’t seem to understand this old friend of yours very well.” Wang Mi replied: “It is the dead of night. No one will know you received the gold!” Yang Zhen corrected his friend: “Heaven knows, the deities know, I know and you know. How can you say nobody knows?”

Scroll 23: Hou Han Shu, Vo

Once Duke Jinpin asked Shuxiang: “Of all the misfortunes that can befall a nation, which one is the greatest?” Shuxiang replied: “When a high-ranking official would rather covet wealth and power than to provide sensible counsel, and a low-ranking official would rather refrain from speaking the truth than to offend his superiors, and thus the leader cannot hear the voice of the people. This is the greatest misfortune that can befall a nation.”

Scroll 22: Hou Han Shu, Vol. 2