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The People Come First
According to Mencius, for the country to be strong, it needs three components:
1. The people.
2. The land.
3. The king.
In that order.
Although the people lack authority and power, they have the power of the mass. Therefore, they
are ranked first.
Land comes from the Chinese concept of shè jì 社 稷; shè refers to the spirit guardian of the land while jì refers to the spirit in charge of the crops (harvests). The Chinese are aware that each area has a land spirit who guards it and the harvest spirit can affect the harvests. Although the land is supported by the spirits, the spirits are supported by the offerings and prayers of the people therefore, the people outweighs the land. Finally, the king is the leader of the spirits and people. However, he must rely on the people’s support and love and the spirits’ protection to last at his job. Therefore, the king comes in third.
* * * * *
The Buddhist has a secret.
For the people to be well educated and to do well, for the spirits to be supportive and the king to be a good leader, you enlist the sages to come and live in your country. Then the people are taught properly and are wise, the spirits will be on their best supportive behavior and the elected king can be a virtuous leader.
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