(Clearwisdom.net) In the third year of the reign of Duke Xiang of Lu state during the Spring and Autumn Period (722 – 481 B.C.), a high-level military official named Qi Xi from Jin state decided to retire and go back to his hometown. Before he left, Duke Dao of Jin state asked him to recommend someone to replace him. Qi Xi recommend Jie Hu although he was his arch-enemy. When Duke Dao was about to appoint Jie Hu as Qi Xi’s replacement, Jie Hu passed away. Duke Dao asked Qi Xi to recommend someone else. This time he recommended his son Qi Wu. It happened that Qi Xi’s right arm man, Yang Shezhi, passed away as well. Duke Dao asked Qi Xi to recommend someone for the post. Qi Xi recommended Yang Shezhi’s son, Yang Shechi, and Duke Dao accepted both recommendations.

Afterwards, Confucius made a comment on Qi Xi’s character. Confucius said, "These recommendations illustrate that Qi Xi recommends the truly capable for public posts. He did not kiss up to his enemy. He sees merits in his enemy. He recommends his son to replace him, but not out of selfishness. He recommends his right arm man’s son, but not for building his faction. According to The Classic of History, ‘Without favoritism or factions, the imperial court becomes righteous.’ These words are the epitome of Qi Xi. He recommended truly capable people, such as Jie Hu, Qi Wu and Yang Shechi, for public posts. He did three good deeds because he recommended true talents for the government. Only virtuous people will recommend people like them. According to Book of Songs, ‘It is precisely because of one’s virtue that one is able to recommend people with similar virtues for public posts.’ Qi Xi is a virtuous man."

The story was a digest from "The Commentary of Zuo" in Spring and Autumn Annals , the official chronicle of the State of Lu covering the period from 722 – 481 B.C. compiled by Confucius.