Inspired by Virtue, Thieves Quit Stealing
(Minghui.org) Fan Yuanyan grew up in a poor family in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 AD – 589 AD). He made a living growing vegetables.
One day as he was heading out the door, Fan spotted someone stealing vegetables in his field. He went back into the house and told his mother. She asked who the thief was. He said, “I do not wish to run into him out of concern that I might hurt his feelings. If I tell you his name, please do not tell anyone else.” As a result, the man and his mother kept their secret.
Someone trudged across a ditch to steal bamboo shoots on his property. Fan cut down a tree and built a simple bridge to make it easier for the thief to cross the ditch to his bamboo grove. The thieves were greatly moved by his consideration and kindness. They were ashamed of their conduct and completely quit stealing. There was no more theft in the entire village afterwards.
Liu Huan, a scholar of the Kingdom of Pei, in today's Anhui Province, documented Fan's virtuous deeds out of respect for him. During the reigns of Ming Emperor of Qi and Emperor Wu of Liang, he was twice invited to serve in the imperial court. Content with a simple life and not interested in fame or fortune, he declined both invitations.
In ancient times, moral standards were quite high. Thieves would feel ashamed to be treated with kindness and generosity. There was no need for law enforcement.
Despite heightened security in recent decades across China, theft and robbery have been on the rise. The spreading of corruption from within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to society at large has accelerated the decline of moral standards. Dissolution of the CCP is the only option.
Source: The Book of Liang, Volume 51, Biography of Well Known Figures No. 45