Putting the Public's Interest Before One's Own
(Clearwisdom.net) Su Ting, a resident of Wugong County, Jingzhao City during the Tang Dynasty, was a very talented scholar since he was little. When he was only 17, he achieved the title of Jinshi, the highest rank of scholar in the ancient Chinese imperial academic system. Later, he was promoted to Zhong Su She Ren, a position responsible for drafting the nation's rulings and legislation. Along with his father, Su Huan, he was in charge of the Shu Mi department. This department accepted reports from the officials to the emperor and passed on the emperor's orders. Su Ting's nature was incorruptible and frugal. In his role, Su Ting spoke righteously and criticized the emperor in an open and frank manner. His talent was outstanding and he was deeply respected by Emperor Xuan Zong (712-756).
In 716, Su Ting was promoted to the role of Zi Wei Shi Lang. This put him in charge of imperial affairs along with Song Jing. Song was upright and outspoken, and he was often decisive on matters without discussing them with Su Ting. However, Su Ting was not concerned at all and greatly respected Song's good qualities.
When Song Jing reported to the Emperor, if there were any omissions or further details to be reported, Su was always at his side to assist. The two cooperated very harmoniously, and the emperor was happy to take their advice.
Song Jing once said to others, "I was in the position of premier along with the father and son of the Su family. The father, Su Huan, is honest and tolerant, and he has a talent for managing a nation. In terms of being open and frank in making suggestions to the emperor, being thorough in fulfilling his responsibilities, being courageous in making decisions, and putting the interest of the public before his own, today's premier Su Ting has even outperformed his father."
It is a precious mind that can do this. It is a quality of being able to let go of self-interest, be responsible for the public, be considerate of the overall situation, respect the strengths of others, and silently supplement and harmonize the weaknesses of others. These are qualities which those who have the morality and idealism to make great achievements cannot lack.