Traditional Culture - Dare to Recognize Mistakes, Compensate and Correct It
(Clearwisdom.net) A-Gui (1717-1797), whose pen name was "Guangting," lived during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He served in many high-ranking positions such as Yili General, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Administration. In the end, he was appointed as the Great Academician of Wuying Palace, while also holding the first chair of the National Security Committee. On one occasion, he followed the Emperor's order to construct the Qinglonggang Dam. His assistant, Li Rongji, thought the construction was progressing too fast and that the work should slow down to prevent the dam from collapsing. A-Gui reprimanded him for slowing down the construction and disturbing the army and workers. He gave his order to again speed up the construction.
On the day when the dam was finished, many officials came to congratulate A-Gui. Only Li Rongji did not show up. A-Gui ordered someone to summon Li. Li was found on the dam. However, Li said to the messenger, "Please send my thanks to A-Gui. Right now, however, the dam is not strong enough, and I don't dare to leave for the celebration." Li continued to monitor the workers to reinforce the dam with more logs and stones.
The reinforcement work continued for two days, but the dam eventually collapsed. When A-Gui was informed in the middle of the night that the dam had collapsed, he rushed to the site and saw that Li Rongji had fallen into the water. A-Gui immediately ordered everyone to help rescue Li, "The official that rescues Li will be promoted two levels and the soldier will be rewarded with much gold."
With some obstacles, Li Rongji was finally rescued and brought to shore. A-Gui was in tears as he helped Li remove his wet clothes. He took off his own uniform, which was made of black fox skin that was granted by the Emperor. A-Gui put the uniform on Li to warm him. After a long time, Li regained consciousness. A-Gui apologized to Li sincerely. He also reported his failure and mistake to the government and recommended that Li Rongji fill his post.
When Li Rongji saw that A-Gui had made a mistake, he did not flatter A-Gui by pretending nothing was wrong. After failing to persuade A-Gui to take his suggestion, Li Rongji did his best to quietly make up for A-Gui's mistake. When A-Gui realized his mistake, he didn't cover it up but apologized humbly and owned up to it. A-Gui also recommended the better qualified person for the job to take his post. The two of them showed great virtue in their conduct and won the people's respect.