(Clearwisdom.net) During the Jing Dynasty, General Tao Kan was born into a poor family. His mother became a weaver to support Tao Kan, so that he could make friends with people who were talented and virtuous.
When Tao Kan was young, he worked as an officer in Xunyang County (now known as Jiujiang County). He was in charge of catching fish. He once sent a jar of salted fish to his mother. She returned the fish with a letter, saying that "As an officer, you should not send me anything that belongs to the government. I don't benefit from it, and on the contrary, you have burdened me emotionally."
Fan Kui from Boyang (known as Boyang County) was appointed to Xiaolian (an official rank). Once, Fan Kui wanted to stay overnight at Tao Kan's home. It was a bitter winter and there was very little furniture in Tao Kan's house. Fan Kui had brought with him many servants and horses. Tao's mother said, "Go ahead and keep the guest. I will figure out a way."
Tao's mother cut her floor length hair and made it into two wigs. She sold the wigs and bought some rice. She then cut a post in the house and used it for firewood, and crushed the straw mattress to feed the horses. She managed to prepare gourmet food to entertain the guest and his servants.
When Fan Kui heard about this, he sighed, "Without a mother like this, there would be no outstanding son like Tao Kan." After Fan Kui went back to Luoyang, he spoke highly of Tao Kan and his mother. Tao Kan was eventually promoted to a very high rank and became very well known.
March 4, 2006