The country of Lu 鲁国 was a small country of the Warring States era, and had a priceless censor. Its larger neighbor’s king demanded it as a tribute. The Lu king did not wish to give up the national treasure, and therefore had a fake censor made and intended to present it as the original.
The sovereign ruler said, “If his adviser Nhạc Chính Tử 樂正子 (Zeng Zi’s famous disciple) brought it here himself, only then would I believe that it is genuine.”
The King of Lu asked Nhạc Chính Tử to bring the fake censor to the sovereign king.
Nhạc Chính Tử asked, “Why don’t you give the real censor?”
The Lu king replied, “I value it too much!”
Nhạc Chính Tử said, “I also value my credibility as much as your Highness values his censor!”
In the end, it was only after the Lu king relinquished the real censor that Nhạc Chính Tử agreed to present the tribute.
* * * * *
Confucius said, “A man who lacks credibility has no place on this earth.”
Furthermore, the ancients also taught that credibility is a nation’s treasure.
If the politicians and the national leaders earnestly guard their credibility then the country can prosper and become stronger.