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Respecting a Person with High Virtue Keeps the Enemy Away

November 27, 2005 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) In China's Warring States period (Zhan'guo, 475BC - 221BC), there was a man named Duan Ganmu that moved from the Jin State to the Wei State. He was a highly virtuous person, and was respected very much by people. The Wei king Wenhou would salute him when he passed by Duan Ganmu's house.

Wenhou's footman asked him, "Why do you salute?" Wenhou answered, "Isn't this Duan Ganmu's house? Mr. Duan Ganmu is a highly virtuous person, how can I dare not salute him?" He also commented, "Mr. Duan Ganmu's glory is earned by his virtue, but my glory is earned by owning a large amount of land; Mr. Duan Ganmu has integrity, and I only have wealth. Owning land cannot compare to owning virtue; wealth cannot be compared with integrity, so I should pay respect to him."

Wei King Wenhou gave Mr. Duan Ganmu millions of payments to praise his integrity, and often went to visit him to pay his respect. The people in Wei State were all very happy that their ruler respected a highly virtuous person to such a degree.

Later on, the Qin king wanted to conquer the Wei. Sima Tang said to the King of Qin, "Duan Ganmu is a highly virtuous person, and the King of Wei respects him very much; people all over the world know this. Maybe we should not attack Wei." Therefore, the King of Qin ordered his army to withdraw from attacking Wei.

The strong Qin army had conquered six states, but left the Wei alone because all of the people knew that Wenhou respected highly virtuous people and managed a state with integrity. Therefore, it was known that their state must be blessed by heaven, and the people there must be very loyal to their home country. If Qin dared to attack Wei, the attack would be condemned by the heavens, and the people would resist with their lives. How could any attack succeed?

While history does not manifest according to the wishes of people, the rise and fall of each country follows a certain pattern. Heaven rules everything. Just like the ancients said, the Heavenly King does not care if you are family or a stranger; he only helps people with virtue.

Master Li said, "If someone's values are lacking gods really look down on him. With any person, any being, only when he has both aspirations and morals can he accomplish things, to be sure." (Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference)

Therefore, a ruler should respect virtue and cultivate virtue; then he can be well received by the people. If a ruler respects noble men, the vicious ones will run away. These are smart policies to safeguard a country.