Selected Translations from the Book "Role Model to the World" by Yuan Cai (Part 8)
(Clearwisdom.net)Uphold Rational Thoughts and Have No Fear of Reproach
Though a person speaks very graciously and appropriately, there are still people who criticize him. Though a person does things extremely well, people still reproach him. It results from the diversity of thinking and opinions among people.
For an ethical and educated man, as long as he uses his conscience, references the teachings of the able and virtuous men in the past, and consults wise and able people for advice, what he does or says will not be flawed from the theoretical standpoint, and therefore he does not need to worry about various frivolous remarks or argue with those who criticize him.
None of the able and virtuous men in the past, the present prime minister, or the provincial governors, are able to avoid the fate of being criticized, let alone the ordinary people. As an ordinary citizen, one should not fear reproach. It is not uncommon that some people simply love to make frivolous remarks about others. When one purposely takes right as wrong, he will be jealous or become the enemy of others. Therefore, why do we have to take such a person's remarks seriously? The best strategy is, instead, to ignore them without even arguing with them.Flattery is Treacherous
Some people are good at praising me to my face and making their words sound like music to my ears without obviously flattering me. This is the plot of the most treacherous villains. While they flatter me to my face, behind the scenes, they laugh at me for being fooled.
Some people are good at guessing other people's thoughts and then, to please themselves out of their own vested interest, say what others like to hear. Then there is another kind of very crafty villain. While what he guesses sometimes does match my thoughts, when he talks about it with other people, he will most likely laugh at me for being predictable.