Perfectly impartial

Master 0sifu Folktale Perfectly impartial

Master 0sifu Folktale: Perfectly impartial

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), a very noble official called Qi Huangyang lived in the State of Jin. One day, the king summoned him to court and asked, “Now that the magistrate position of Nanyang county is vacant, who do you think is suitable for the post?”

“Xie Hu is the right man for the job.”Qi replied without hesitation.



Surprised, the king asked, “Did you say Xie Hu? I thought he’s your enemy. Why did you recommend him to take such an important position?”

平公惊奇的问他:“你是说解狐? 他不是你的仇人吗?你为什么还要推荐他担任这么重要的职位?”


Smiling, Qi Huangyang said, “Your Majesty didn’t ask me my personal opinions of Xie Hu. You simply asked me who I thought would be competent for the position. Therefore I recommended Xie Hu.

祁黄羊笑着说: “陛下只问我什么人能够胜任这个职位,并没有问我对解狐的个人看法呀!因此我推荐解狐。”


The king followed Qi’s advice and made Xie Hu magistrate of Nanyang county. And sure enough, Xie Hu administered the county very well and won respect from local people and his colleagues.



Some days later, the king again asked Qi Huangyang for his opinions. This time, the king was trying to find a suitable candidate for a court judge position. Qi Huangyiang recommended Qi Wu for the job. Once again, the king was surprised again by the recommendation because Qi Wu was the son of Qi Huangyang. The king asked: “Who do you recommend your son? Aren’t you afraid people will gossip?”



Qi Huangyang replied, “Your Majesty, you asked me who was the most capable person for the position of a judge, and I think Qi Wu is.”



Although the king was a bit hesitant about making Qi Wu the judge, he nevertheless gave him the position. As it turned out, Qi Wu was an upright and talented judge, who people greatly respected.



Qi Huangyang’s actions were praised by Confucius who said, “Qi Huangyang was right. He recommended people according to their abilities and talents, not because of personal sentiments, not because of fearing others’ gossip. Therefore, people like Qi Huangyang are referred to as people “without selfish motives”.

孔子听说这两件事,十分称赞祁黄羊。孔子说: “祁黄羊是对的。他推荐人,完全是以才能做标准,不因为个人偏见,便不推荐他;也不因为怕人议论,便不推荐。像黄祁羊这样的人,才够得上说”大公无私”啦!”


From Confucious’ comment came the idiom ‘Unselfish’. Anyone who handles affairs fairly and impartially can be described as ‘Unselfish; Perfectly impartial’.




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