Traditional Culture - Take Things Lightly and Know Your Standards
(Clearwisdom.net) Yan Junping lived in Qiongzhou Town, Shu County in the Xihan Dynasty (206 B.C.-8 A.D.). During his lifetime, he took fame and personal gain lightly and didn't want to be a government official. He originally lived as a fortuneteller in Chengdu City, where he taught people to behave with loyalty, filial piety, trust, and friendship. Each day, after he had earned enough money to maintain a simple life, he shut his door and refused to accept any more visitors. He then enjoyed writing books and teaching the Dao De Jing ( Tao Te Ching) at his home school.
Since Yan Junping had high moral standards and didn't associate with people with low moral values, he gained people's respect and he became more famous. At that time, Mu Liqiang from Yizhou, General Wang Feng, and others all had heard that Yan Junping was a person with great wisdom and virtue. They all wanted to make friends with him and invited him to take a post within the government. However, Yan refused all of their invitations.
A rich person from Yan's hometown named Luo Chong asked him, "Why did not you take a post within the government?" Yan answered, "I am not capable enough." Luo thought that Yan probably just didn't have enough money. He thus prepared wagonloads full of grain and clothing to support Yan so that he could take on a government position. Yan said, "This is an extra burden for me. I am not short of money. Moreover, I have extra money and you are the one who is actually short of money. How could I let a person short of money help a person with extra money?" Luo answered, "I have tons of gold and you don't even have a basket of valuable things. How can you say that you have extra money? Isn't that ridiculous?"
Yan replied, "That's not the case. During the time I stayed at your home, when everyone went to bed, you still had a lot of things to do. You were very busy day and night and were anxious and restless. You were never satisfied with what you had. Now, I make a living as a fortuneteller. Every day I have some extra money to spare. Dust accumulates on the extra money, and I don't even know how to spend it. Isn't it the truth that I have extra money and you don't have enough?" After hearing this, Luo was ashamed. Yan said to Luo, "Giving me money or goods would erode my spirit, and making me famous would kill me. That's the reason for me not to take a government position."
Yan Junping never lowered his standard in favor of money, profit, or fame. He was always satisfied with what he had and was very happy. During that time, people respected him very much. In order to remember him, people named the street he lived on "Junping Street."