Traditional Culture -- Being Humble and Tolerant without Showing Off
(Clearwisdom.net) Xu Rong lived in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) in Zhejiang Province and was famous for his excellent writing skills. He was very humble and tolerant, and he never showed off his talent.
Once, in the province level government official test, which only tested the skill of writing articles, a friend of Xu Rong's stole one of his articles and used it to win first place. He was so happy, and he even bragged in front of Xu Rong, forgetting that it was Xu Rong's article. Many other friends of Xu Rong's felt that it was too much, and they tried to scold him. Xu Rong stopped them by saying, "His destiny was to be awarded first place, and whether it was with the help of that article or not is unimportant. Please do not think that it was my article from now on."
The friend came to ask for forgiveness from Xu Rong, and he asked for another good article. Xu Rong then gave him the best article he had written.
His friend used Xu Rong's article and passed the state level test, but Xu Rong failed. His friend did not express any gratitude, and Xu Rong never minded.
Later, this person became the Teng County head in the Shandong Province, because he had passed the state level test. Once, Xu Rong was traveling through Teng County on his way to Beijing to take the state test again, and he saw his friend, as the County head, sending off his guest. His friend pretended that he did not know Xu Rong at all. After he returned to his county hall, he ordered all of the people from Zhejiang Province to be chased out of his county because he was afraid Xu Rong would tell others how he used someone else's articles to pass the exams.
This time, Xu Rong passed the exam and became Jinshi (which means he passed the state level test), and the emperor assigned him to be the supervisor of Shandong Province. His friend probably felt embarrassed about his actions, and he was too ashamed to report to him. He wrote a letter of resignation.
Xu Rong did not think about his friend's mistakes, but instead he extended an invitation to him. He made him feel at ease, talked about their old times together, and never mentioned how his friend had used him. He treated him like an old friend.
Be easy on others, tolerate their mistakes and shortcomings, conceal one's own talent, and never brag: those are the virtues that Chinese traditional culture emphasizes, and they are also good ways to make good friends. Xu Rong is a role model in this aspect.