Traditional Culture: Doing Good Deeds and Accumulating Virtue is the Fountain of Good Fortune
(Clearwisdom.net) In China's several thousand years of history, "Do good deeds to accumulate virtue" is a traditional code of conduct that has been valued until today.
In Shang Shu (also known as the Book of History), the author wrote: "Only virtue can move the heavens." In Han Shu (also called, History of the Early Han Dynasty): "Those who do good deeds secretly will be rewarded by heaven." Therefore, people taught their children not to do anything bad, but to do good deeds as much as they possible. Lesson One in how to be a human is to "plant a good seed, harvest a good fruit." In the Qing Dynasty, the children's book, Poems of Elementary School, stated, "Accumulating virtue leads to good fortune; dishonest conduct only makes your life more miserable."
A scholar of the Yi-Ching (The Book of Changes) in the Three Kingdom Era named Yao Xin wrote an article called "For my children to follow" in order to tell his own children to do good deeds and gain positive consequences as a result. The following is what he wrote:
"The ancients did not do good deeds to seek a good reputation, nor did they do it to comply with the requests of others. Their good deeds came from their own internal motivation. They believed that this is what human beings are supposed to do. Therefore, it didn't matter what their situations were, difficult or successful, their virtuous conduct would not change. They were always consistent. Their conduct met the standards of the gods, and it also conformed to everyday people's behavior. Therefore, gods took care of them and people respected them. Naturally, their good reputation did spread and good fortune kept coming. It had to be that way.
Some people appeared to be moderate and humble, but they had hidden agendas. They pretended to be honest and sincere, but in reality they were tricky and selfish. When such a person heard praise, he could not hide his delight and his ego grew bigger. When he heard criticism, he immediately lost interest in doing good deeds. If his reputation or position were lost, the person became angry and wanted to slander and frame good people. But when he blamed another person, everyone disliked him; when he framed a good person, everyone hated him. So if he tried to get a promotion at someone else's expense, it did not work. He only brought more damage to himself.
It's impossible to hide the truth forever; praise and criticism cannot be arbitrarily twisted. If one can abandon one's hypocritical behavior and is open to good suggestions, if one abandons subjective notions and focuses on other people's positive sides, then the person can be open to everything and has nothing to hide. If one can get rid of being overly confident and selfish, always think of other's interests and stay away from bad places and evil activities, one can have a safe and prosperous life and be on the way to being a great person.
People's social status is not fixed forever. Everything is caused by oneself. If one keeps doing good deeds, a commoner's son can become a royal official; if one doesn't do good deeds, then the son from a noble family can become a commoner. Once you realize these principles, how can you not remind yourself to do good deeds?"
Fortune, longevity, safety and all kinds of other good things are all based on virtue. This principle has been validated over and over by numerous people throughout history. Therefore, the ancient sages and ancestors not only taught their children to believe that "good deeds bring good rewards," they also repeatedly told their children how important it is to do good deeds and accumulate virtue.