(Clearwisdom.net) Confucius said, “When you look for your residence, a place where there are virtuous and humane people is best. How can one be regarded as a wise man if he chooses a location where there are no virtuous people?”
Then what kind of a person is a virtuous man? A virtuous man is one with lofty ideals who treats others with leniency. If one could be promoted to a senior official for doing unjust things, such as killing innocent people, a virtuous man would definitely not do so. A virtuous man cares for the people around him, as well as those far away, and what he does benefits everyone. People who lie and only care for their family, on the other hand, the virtuous man regards as shameful.
In history, when government officials were virtuous, the nation was administered well and the emperor enjoyed honor and dignity. When the officials were not virtuous, the nation was in a terrible state and the emperor was replaced or even killed. Emperors who realized this principle selected virtuous people as top officials, and the country was in peace. Emperor Tang of the Shang dynasty and Emperor Wu of the Zhou dynasty were wise and had virtuous people as officials, so the nation was in harmony and peaceful. However, Emperor Jie of the Xia dynasty and Emperor Zhou of the Shang dynasty, neither of whom were themselves considered to be virtuous, lost their power and positions to others.