Transformation of People's Minds by an Act of Kindness
In the tenth year of Kaihuang during the Sui Dynasty under the ruling of Emperor
Suiwen (590 AD), Xin Gongyi, the assistant minister of the Army, was appointed
to be the governor of Minzhou. At that time, people in Minzhou were very scared
of diseases, as they thought all diseases were contagious. Therefore, when a
person became ill, he or she would be left alone. Nobody took care of ill
patients, not even the patient's own family members. As a result, many patients
died unnecessarily for lack of care. People became cold towards each other,
detached and were used to this custom. After assuming the post, Xin Gongyi
decided to replace this bad custom with loving care.
One summer, many people fell ill. Xin Gongji set up sick beds in the main hall of his home and took in all ill people. Hundreds of people filled the main hall and the passageway. He used his own money to buy medicine and hire doctors. He helped care for the patients day and night. Soon the patients recovered one by one. He then ordered their family members to take them home. He told them, "You all can see for yourselves. How can the diseases be contagious? Am I not quite well?"Â Â Â
The relatives of the patients were touched and felt ashamed. They all spread the news of Xin Gongji's graciousness. Soon, whenever people got ill, they went to Xin Gongyi's home to receive care, and their families stayed with the patients to help care for them. People became more compassionate and caring. The old bad custom was thus eradicated.
(From Zizhi Tongjian, The Book of Political Ruling)
First published in English at: http://www.pureinsight.org/pi/index.php?news=3816