Story from History: Move People by One's Virtue and Correct the Wicked with Sincerity
[PureInsight.org] According to Zi Zhi Tong Jian (The Great Historic Writings of Politicization), during the Sui Dynasty, there was an army official called Jia Wang from Qi Province. He was ordered to lead some guards and escort Can Li and another 70 criminals to the capital city. All of the criminals were in chains. They climbed the mountains and crossed the rivers. After innumerable hardships, they finally arrived at the city called Niao Yang. Jia Wang ordered them to take a rest. All the criminals laid down by the roadside two or three per group. Everyone complained about the hardships they went through. The guards who escorted the criminals were also utterly exhausted. Jia Wang looked at them and could not bear to see their suffering anymore. He called them together and said," You deserved the punishment because you offended the law of the country. But these people who have escorted you are innocent. They suffer the same hardships as you. Don't you feel ashamed? "
Jia Wang's words made all the criminals feel too ashamed to show their faces. Jia Wang issued an order to unlock the shackles for the criminals and let the guards go home. Jia Wang told Can Li and the other criminals," Now you do not need to endure the pain of the shackles anymore and the guards do not need to accompany you and suffer the hardship. You need to go to the capital city by yourself. But you have to be there on the specified date. Otherwise, I have to die because of you."
Can Li and the other criminals were moved by Jia Wang's sincerity. They all said: "Please do not worry. You cared about us, trust us, and we will not break our promise. A person who gets Jia Wang in trouble will die a horrible death."
The specified date arrived. All of the criminals arrived as scheduled, and no one ran away.
After the Emperor Jian Yang heard about this story, he was very surprised. He called for Jia Wang and praised what he did. He also called for the criminals, their wives and their children. He bestowed a feast for them and pardoned their crimes. The Emperor also issued a decree, "All government officials must follow the example by Jia Wang, to move the common people with their virtues. The common people should behave like Can Li and others when treated with kindness. If that happens, the world will be peaceful, and the day without criminal law will arrive soon. "
First published in English at:
Category: Traditional Culture