Stories from Ancient China: When Confucius Was Without Food

Confucius (BC 551- 479) is regarded as one of the greatest teachers and philosophers in Chinese history and has had a very significant influence on Chinese morality and arts. In his latter years, he travelled with his students to various states (ruled by warlords) to spread his teachings but was not very well received at the time.

Once when Confucius and his students were in the State of Chen, they ran out of food and all of the students fell ill. One of the students, Zi-lu, also a famous scholar, complained, "So, it is possible for a righteous person to become destitute!" Confucius replied, "A righteous person can guard his morality and virtue even when he is destitute; whereas a wicked person will resort to all sorts of vices when he is destitute."

Our moral standard shouldn't change according the situation we're in. We are sometimes tested to see whether we can stay unmoved and hold on to our principles in tough situations. Many people will compromise themselves according to the situation, and they gradually and slowly move away from their own principles.

Confucius taught us the standard of being human that has maintained the morality of the Chinese people for over two thousand years. The so-called modern people, however, deride the teachings of Confucius. That's because the moral standard of the modern society has slid down tremendously.

When practitioners of Falun Gong want to "be good people", some people become suspicious and think that the practitioners have ulterior political motives or are mentally ill. Nowadays many people no longer know the standard of being human.

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