During the Han Dynasty in China there was a wise man called Bang Cong. He was even-keeled and composed and avoided noisy and crowded places. He and his wife were very courteous toward one another and treated each other like guests.
One day, an official friend came for a visit and found him working in the field. Bang Cong came up to talk with his friend while his wife and children continued their field work below.
The official friend said: “You are so learned, why do you insist on ploughing the field like this? Why don’t you become an official so that you can leave some assets to your children?”
Bang Cong replied: “Others tend to leave danger to their children. I tend to leave peace and security for them. Although the approach is different they are still assets for the future generations.”
The official friend sighed and took his leave.
Who does not want to take care of our children’s future?
Why did Bang Cong say that normal assets are dangerous?
There are many reasons. In the old days, there were a lot of upheavals in China. During the times of upheavals it used to be difficult for the children to hang on to their inherited wealth: the higher the official position, the more wealth, the more dangerous it was. Furthermore, children of well- to-do families tended to become complacent and would not apply themselves to learn or work: historically, inherited wealth tends to decrease from generation to generation.
Why is working called peace and security?
Bang Cong taught his children skills to make a living, the way of virtue and knowing contentment. Therefore, his children worked hard and studied hard and were satisfied. No matter whether it was during peaceful times or times of upheaval, they could fend for themselves.
I really admire Bang Cong’s humility and his people skills. Did you notice how wise men avoid making comparisons (having no discriminating mind) and avoid criticizing or looking down upon others?