(Clearwisdom.net) Kuang Ye, a high-ranking official in the War Council, had just been promoted to assistant governor of Shanxi Province during the Tianshun period of the Ming Dynasty. He quickly rose through the ranks because of his reputation as a hard-working official.

One time, he mailed his father some woven red feather cloth. It was an extravagant gift. His father saw what it was and, suspecting that the money used to pay for it was ill-gotten, returned the package to him without opening it. He wrote to his son: “You haven't done enough for the benefit of others or society, yet you send this extravagant gift! You might ruin my reputation!” From then on, Kuang Ye worked hard to examine his own faults and become honest to the point of being incorruptible.

There was another high-ranking official named Zhu Chang. He was born in Shahe, in today's Gansu Province. He was a policy enforcer in Zhejiang during the Jiajing period. He didn't even have a servant in his private residence, and he took care of all the housework himself. His clothing was ordinary. He ate simple meals, nothing extravagant. People at the time thought he was worthy of admiration for his high standards.

One time, Zhu Chang’s father came to visit the area as an official. People were surprised to find that his father was even more noble than Zhu Chang. At home, his father’s words and behavior continued to educate and inspire Zhu Change to be honest and strict in dealing with work and others.

From the above we can see that, in addition to their inherent wisdom, Kuang Ye and Zhu Chang were honest and of good character to a large extent as a result of their strict family upbringing.

(From Seven Examples of Cultivation by Lang Ying in the Ming Dynasty)