Accumulating Merit for One's Descendants by Saving People's Lives
(Clearwisdom.net) In the Qing Dynasty, Mr. Xu Diansheng from the Qiantiang area was a top ranking government official. For four generations in a row, members of his family had been appointed to be government officials. In every year's local academic examination, someone in his family passed the examination and became an official. People said that this was because his ancestors had accumulated lots of virtue.
It was said that Xu Diansheng's ancestor was Mr. Le Ting, who had demonstrated compassionate acts all of his life. He served in a government position under the Governor of Zhili Province, Fang Guancheng. One year, there was a serious famine in Pingliang and Qingyang Counties, and people there suffered miserably. Mr. Le Ting was very sympathetic. He wrote a memorial and asked Governor Fang to submit it to the emperor, requesting that the central government assign two hundred thousand liang (an ancient Chinese currency) of silver to provide relief to the famine victims.
Several days later, Governor Fang still hadn't submitted Mr. Le Ting's memorial to the emperor. Mr. Le Ting then decided to resign from the position and packed his luggage. Governor Fang asked him, "I have always treated you with respect and yet you want to resign. Is it because I haven't submitted your memorial?" Mr. Le Ting replied, "I won't resign if the memorial is submitted." Governor Fang then submitted the memorial right away.
After the submission, Governor Fang was very worried that the memorial requested such a large amount of money that the emperor would not approve it. One month later, the edict arrived. The emperor highly commended the request; he thought two hundred thousand liang of silver might not be enough for the famine victims so he assigned an additional two hundred thousand liang. Governor Fang was overjoyed. He went to tell Mr. Le Ting and apologized for his previous unwillingness to submit the memorial.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved.
Several years later, Mr. Le Ting's son passed the local academic examination for official selection. Later on his grandsons, Xu Xuefan and Xu Xuezeng, both passed the nationwide academic examination. Mr. Le Ting's family became increasingly prosperous. With a compassionate heart, Mr. Le Ting did not hesitate to discard his own position and academic honor to save people's lives, and his act rescued hundreds of thousands of lives. Because of this, he accumulated lots of virtue; no wonder his family and descendants gained such rewards.