An old Chinese saying states, “Ancient gentlemen are strict with themselves down to the last detail, while treating others with leniency and giving them latitude.” This means that they are very demanding of themselves so that they can constantly improve. On the other hand, they treat others with tolerance, which allows others to do good. Tolerance is a type of wisdom that is found while being steadfast to righteousness. It is consideration and responsibility towards others, which requires one to be broadminded and kind.
Zi Gong once asked his teacher Confucius, “Is there a single word that I can follow as a guiding principle for my life?” Confucius replied, “Forgiveness is probably that word.” The ancient people focused on self-cultivation, constantly inspecting themselves while being tolerant and forgiving. This increased their own virtue and influenced others at the same time.
Below are some stories from ancient times.
古语云：「古之君子，其责己也重以周，其待人也轻以约」指古之君子对自己要求严格而全面，这样就能及时改过，不断向上;对别人宽容而平易，使别人乐于为善宽容是一种智慧，是道义坚守中的包容，是对他人的关爱和负责，它需要有宽广的胸襟和与人为善的心态孔子的学生子贡曾问孔子：。「有没有一个字，可以作为终生奉行的原则呢」孔子说：。「那大概就是 ‘恕’ 吧「」恕」，就是宽容的意思古人注重修身，时时观照，省察自己，并且能用宽容的心，涵容他人过失，不仅自己的德业可以增长，也能够感化，善化他人。以下为古籍中记载的几个故事。
Song Jiu Repays Evil with Good
In the Warring States Period (722 – 481 BC), Song Jiu was a county governor in the State of Liang. His county was adjacent to the State of Chu. A post was set up on either side of the border. Those who worked at the posts on either side farmed melons. The Liang people were industrious, and they frequently irrigated their land, so their melons grew very well. The Chu people were lazy. They hardly ever watered the land, and their melons of course did not grow well.
Out of jealousy, the Chu people stomped on and broke the vines on the Liang side late one night. The Liang people reported the damage to Governor Song and sought revenge. Song Jiu shook his head and said, “We should not do that. Making an enemy is a path to calamity. It would be too narrow-minded if we played tit for tat. I will give you a solution. We will send our people to the other side to secretly water their land every night, but we will not tell them.”
In the morning, the Chu people saw that their crop had already been irrigated. With help from the Liang people, the melon vines within the Chu border grew better day by day. The Chu people thought it strange at first. They secretly investigated and found out the reason. They were very moved and reported it to their central government. The King of Chu felt ashamed and subsequently apologized to the Liang people with generous gifts and asked them to pass along a message of friendship between the two states. Afterwards, the King of Chu praised the King of Liang as someone trustworthy and righteous. Over time, the two states developed a long-lasting friendship, which started from the melon vine incident and how Song Jiu repaid an act of doing harm with an act of kindness.