20. Yao (堯) said
1. Yao (堯) said, “Well, Shun (舜), the time has now come to you. Do take hold of it right in the middle. If poverty strikes all corners of the empire, the privileges given by the Heaven will cease forever.” Shun (舜) gave the same order to Wu (禹).
Tang (湯) said, “I, the humble child Lu (履), offer this black calf and respectfully report thus to the highest Lord: I dare not pardon those who commit crimes. I shall not remove thy ministers. It is thy will that chooses them. If I commit a crime, that is not due to my people. If my people commit a crime, that is due to me.”
Zhou (周) dynasty began by giving abundant gifts and the good people became rich.
“Although one may have parents and close relatives, it is better to have people with ethical resolve. My people’s fault is due to me.”
Pay careful attention to weights and measures. Review the laws and institutions. Restore the posts which have been abolished. Then all corners of the country will be well governed. Revive the fallen state. Restore the cut off family. Re-invite those who had withdrawn from government positions to work again. People from the whole world will turn to you. These are important: people, food, funeral and sacrificial ceremonies.
If you are open-minded, you will win many people’s heart. If you are trustworthy, people will entrust you with a task. If you are diligent, you will achieve a lot. If you are fair, people will be delighted.
2. Zi Zhang asked Confucius, “What must I do to be engaged in governing?” The Master said, “Promote five good qualities. Shield yourself from four bad qualities. That’s how you can be engaged in governing.” Zi Zhang said, “What are five good qualities?” The Master said, “A noble man should be munificent without being extravagant. He should make people work hard without complaining. He should be motivated without being greedy. He should be relaxed without being arrogant. He should have gravitas without being ferocious.” Zi Zhang said, “What do you mean by being munificent without being extravagant?” The Master said, “Let people benefit from what they consider beneficial to them. Isn’t it also a way to be munificent without being extravagant? Choose the work which is worth striving for. Then who will complain? If you fulfil your ethical resolve because you wanted it, then how can you be greedy? A noble man dares not be condescending regardless of the number or the age of his counterpart. Isn’t it also a way to be relaxed without being arrogant. A noble man will have his robe and hat properly adjusted, maintain a dignified gaze and have an air of austerity so that people look up to him in awe. Isn’t it also a way to have gravitas without being ferocious? Zi Zhang said, “What are four bad qualities?” The Master said, “If you execute people instead of teaching them, you are being cruel. If you proceed with inspection of a work without any forewarning, you are being rough. If you rush the deadline while you yourself have been lazy with your insructions, then you are being harmful. If you are miserly in a situation where you cannot make substantial savings by being so, you are being a petty cash clerk.
3. The Master said, “If you do not know your destiny, you cannot be a noble man. If you do not know Li, you cannot establish yourself. If you do not unserstand language, you cannot understand people.”