Selected Translations from the Book "Role Model to the World" by Yuan Cai (Part 11)
Be grateful and seek to repay kindness
People nowadays usually don't remember it when they receive kindness from other people, but if they give help to other people, even if it is just a trivial thing, they will clearly remember in their minds. Ancient people said, "Please don't remember the kindness that you give to other people, but don't forget the kindness that other people give to you." It is indeed difficult to follow this.
Do not accept others' kindness easily
Whether we stay at home or travel away from home, we cannot easily accept other people's kindness. Before I became notable, I often remembered it when I accepted other people's kindness. Every time when I saw the people who helped me, I felt awe and could often see by the look in their faces that they remembered that they had helped me. Now that I am successful and notable, I want to repay those people who have given me kindness, but it is hard to do so. However, I feel guilty when I do not repay them.
Therefore, even if it is just one meal or one wisp of silk, we cannot accept it easily. There was once a person who sought friends widely when serving as an official in the royal court. He was warned by elders who said, "If you accept too much favor from others, it will be difficult for you to get a foothold in the royal court." We should carefully think about this sentence.
July 4, 2007