Tolerating Misjudgments and Governing Benevolently Generates Blessings
(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. Zhuo Mao lived during the Western Han Dynasty (207 BC – 9 AD). He was from Wan County, Nanyang. currently a city in Henan Province. He had learned poetry, etiquette, and calendar knowledge at a young age. With his great knowledge he was kind and respectful to others, and was embraced by many.
Mao started as an officer in the Prime Minister's office. One day, a stranger stopped Mao's horse-drawn cart and claimed that the horse belonged to him. Mao asked, “How long ago did you lose your horse?” The man said, “More than a month ago.” Mao had owned this horse for several years. He knew the man had made a mistake, but he turned the horse over to the man without a word. Mao pulled the cart himself and said, “If it's not yours, please return it to the Prime Minister's office.”
Some time later, the stranger found his horse and realized his mistake. He went to the Prime Minister's office to return the horse to Mao. He kowtowed and apologized. Mao did not mind the mistake.
Historical records state that Mr. Zhuo Mao did not like to quarrel with others. Many people put their own self interests first, but Mao did not dispute it when he was misjudged. He endured the mistreatment willingly and even surrendered his own possessions to others. His heart was tranquil nevertheless. Only a person with great virtue and a well-cultivated mind behaves in this manner.
Mao later was promoted and was appointed to Mi County Magistrate in Henan Province. He was loyal, prudent, and honest. He loved his pupils as family members, took etiquette seriously, educated them by showing good deeds, and never made hostile remarks. His subordinates and pupils loved him and could not bear to cheat him. The society was safe and the morality where he governed improved within a few years.
In the reign of Emperor Hanping (9 BC - 5 AD), the fourteenth emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, there was a widespread locust plague. More than 20 counties in Henan Province suffered severe damage. There were no locusts at the Mi County border. The Governor of Henan did not believe this after hearing the supervisor's report. After he visited and inspected Mi County, he was convinced and admired Mao's virtue.
It was the virtue of the Mi County Magistrate that safeguarded the county from the locust plague. He governed with a heart of benevolence, guided the pupils by showing them good deeds, enriched their hearts with kindness, and improved their morality. He obeyed the heavenly laws and was blessed by Heaven.
Zhuo Mao advanced to the position of Assistant Officer in the Capitol, and the subjects in Mi County cried when he departed. Soon, Wang Mang (45 BC - 23 AD) usurped the throne, and the administration went into chaos. Mao resigned, citing health problems. He showed his integrity by not seeking power and money while in office and by leaving when he could not serve the people and the country benevolently.
Emperor Guangwu (6 BC - 57 AD) learned about Mao's outstanding character and knowledge. As soon as he took the throne, he called for Mao and issued an imperial edict to praise his self-restraint, virtuous cultivation, integrity, kindness, persistence, and the ability to achieve what others could not. The Emperor said that the best person deserved the best rewards. He appointed Zhuo Mao to Taifu (a prince's tutor and guardian), bestowed wealth upon him, and promoted his son to a prestigious position.