“Treating Others with Leniency and Latitude” - Stories Regarding Tolerance (Part 2 of 2)
Guo Ziyi Acted Generously and with Integrity
In the Tang Dynasty, Guo Ziyi spent his entire life in the army. He performed admirably in the pacification of the An Shih Rebellion and in battles against invasions by other countries. However, he never bragged about his accomplishments, and he was patriotic and loyal to his country. He treated people with tolerance and generosity, and gained high prestige. When the An Shih Rebellion broke out, Emperor Tang Suzong selected Guo Ziyi to be the army's commander-in-chief. After many difficulties, Guo Ziyi finally led his troops to re-take two big cities, Luoyang and Chang’an. Tang Suzong said to him, “Although this country is mine, it was indeed you who rebuilt it.”
When General Bugu Huai’en rebelled against the emperor, he led 100,000 soldiers, including his own Shuofang Army along with Uighur and Tibetan troops, to attack the capital. During this critical period, the emperor promoted Guo Ziyi to several key government positions in addition to his military role.
During the crisis, he declined most of the promotions. He said in his report to the emperor that since the rebellion, fighting for power had become rife in the court and he hoped that virtue would emerge again.
Guo Ziyi had once led the Shuofang Army, and the soldiers were still very loyal to him. When Guo Ziyi arrived at the battle field, many of the enemy soldiers switched sides. When the Uighur and Tibetan soldiers saw this, they retreated without a fight. Bugu Huai’en had to flee the field, and Guo Ziyi returned victorious.
In the Emperor Tang Daizong period, Bugu Huai’en again attacked Chang'an with 300,000 Uighur, Tibetan, and Dongshun soldiers. Tang Daizong urgently summoned Guo Ziyi to lead 10,000 soldiers to resist the rebels. When Guo and his troops arrived, they were surrounded by more than 100,000 Uighur and Tibetan soldiers.
At that critical point in time, Bugu Huai’en died suddenly. Guo Ziyi then went straight to the Uighur commander by himself and convinced him to side with the Tang army. They defeated the Tibetan troops decisively, and the entire enemy army collapsed. Guo was gracious in victory, and many Uighur and Tibetan people called him a man of divine virtue.
Guo Ziyi set himself as an example with his behavior, and he took good care of the common people. Because of the many years of war, the country was in a depression and people led hard lives. To reduce their burden, he personally led his troops to turn wastelands into farmland. When the soldiers were not at war, they received training but also did agricultural labor. Although it was wartime, the crops were abundant wherever his troops were stationed.
The Magnanimous Lu Mengzheng
Lu Mengzheng was a prime minister in the Song Dynasty. He was honest, open-minded, tolerant, and had good self-restraint. He bravely spoke out when handling problems, was good at making the best use of people's talents, and had a good reputation. He worshiped the deities with sincerity, recited scripture, and bowed to Buddha every day. He wrote a “Sermon Song” to advise people to be good, respect divine beings, accept their faith, and do good deeds to accumulate virtue.
Lu Mengzheng came from humble beginnings. He passed the imperial exams with flying colors when he was very young, and was later recruited to become prime minister. When he went to report to the emperor, all of the officials greeted him except one, who pointed at Lu Mengzheng behind his back and sneered, “Is that person qualified to take part in public policy decisions?”
Lu Mengzheng pretended not to hear and chatted with his new colleagues as he moved forward, but other officials were angered by this official's disrespect. They asked to identify this man. Lu Mengzheng quickly stopped them and said, “Once his name is known, I would never forget this incident. It is better not to know.” This garnered great respect from his colleagues. Because Lu Mengzheng never held a grudge, the other officials found it easy to approach him.
As prime minister, Lu Mengzheng was a generous leader to his subordinates, but never flattered the emperor to curry favor. On one occasion, Emperor Song Taizong asked him to select a talented person who could take on the heavy burden of being ambassador to Liao.
Lu Mengzheng recommended someone with the surname Chen, whom he felt was the best fit for the position. But the emperor disagreed and asked him to pick someone else. When asked about the candidate the next day, Lu Mengzheng recommended the same person, but the emperor still did not agree. When he was asked the third time, Lu Mengzheng still named the same person for the job.
The emperor got angry and threw his report on the floor, saying, “Why are you so stubborn?” Lu Mengzheng picked up the report and said calmly, “I am not stubborn, your majesty. It was because you could not understand. This person is the most competent to be the ambassador to Liao; the rest are not as good. I do not dare to flatter your majesty and harm our national interests.” No one dared to speak out. After angrily walking down the hall, the emperor looked back and said, “Your attitude is better than mine. I accept your recommendation.” This ambassador indeed successfully fulfilled the mission. (from History of Song)
In traditional Chinese culture, a gentleman is strict with himself and tolerant toward others. They cultivate themselves and get along with others. They facilitate and help others as much as possible, because they respect and care for them. Tolerance is a kind of love-filled selflessness.
In China today, however, the virtues of traditional Chinese are being lost under the rule of the Communist Party for more than 60 years. Those values were replaced with the CCP culture that promotes a philosophy of struggle and fighting. The CCP takes evil as good and encourages people not believe in anything, leading to a lack of tolerance and a decline in morality. We can have a good future if we start with ourselves to revive traditional culture, remove the wicked Party culture, and follow the moral philosophy of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
“Treating Others with Leniency and Latitude” - Stories Regarding Tolerance (Part 1) http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2013/4/27/139079.html