Stories from Ancient China: Life Offered as Sacrifice for a Noble Cause Touches the Enemy's Heart

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Xun Jubo was a man of noble spirit who lived during the rule of the Hanwe Emperor in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Once Xun Jubo travelled far to visit a friend who was sick. It so happened that the Xiongnu, an ancient ethnic group in China, were attacking the city he was visiting. The friend told Xun Jubo, "I am dying. You should hurry up and leave." Xun Jubo replied, "I came such a long way to see you and you ask me to leave. I, Xun Jubo would never do anything so craven merely to stay alive."

Soon after, the enemy entered the city. They asked Xun Jubo, "When our troops took the city, it was completely deserted. Who are you to dare to stay here alone?" Xun Jubo replied, "My friend is sick. I could not bring myself to leaving him. I would rather sacrifice my life in exchange for his."

The enemy soldiers said among themselves, "We are people of no loyalty, but today we have witnessed true loyalty." As a result, they withdrew their soldiers and returned home. Consequently, the entire city was unharmed.

When we make friends with others, it is important to emphasise loyalty. Friendship shouldn't depend on whether we are rich, noble, poor, or well-respected. Neither should it be influenced by whether we are healthy, dying, suffering from problems or enjoying good fortune. Instead, loyalty is judged by whether we are able to take a risk for a just cause or for the sake of friendship. It is evidence of a great mind to be able to sacrifice one's life to help or support others. In addition, it is a display of truthfulness and sincerity.

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