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The Kingly Man

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By Mencius

The kingly man is unlike other men because he keeps his heart. Its keeper is love, its keeper is courtesy. If a man loves others, most men will love him; if he respects others, most men will respect him.

When someone is cross and rude to him, the kingly man will question himself and say, “I must have been wanting in love, I must have been discourteous, or how could this have happened?” If he finds that he has shown love and that he has shown courtesy, and the other is still cross and rude, he will question himself and say, “I must have been insincere.” If he finds that he has been sincere, and the other man is still cross and rude, he will say, “This is merely a man gone wrong. Then what is there to choose between him and a beast?”

The kingly man has a lifelong yearning, but not one morning’s sorrows. A yearning, yes, he has one: Shun was a man, I too am a man; Shun was a pattern for all below heaven and a heritage for after ages, I am still nothing but a villager! This is his cause for yearning.

What is his yearning? To be like Shun, this is all. But the kingly man has no sorrows. He does nothing against love, he does nothing against courtesy. If sorrows come one morning, he does not sorrow.


Awesome and very true!


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