Cultural China: Keeping a promise -- the ancient and modern stories

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-04 22:36:28|Editor: huaxia

Photo taken on Nov. 24, 2021 shows a bronze statue of Jizi at the Jizi Temple in Danyang City, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Publicity department of Danyang City's Party committee/Handout via Xinhua)

NANJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Integrity is one of the most important traits in traditional Chinese culture. Confucius believes that honoring one's word, recognizing one's faults, and keeping one's promise are necessary for everyone to develop.

In the Yanling Town of Danyang, east China's Jiangsu Province, there is a Jizi Temple built to honor Jizi, whose given name is Zha, the youngest son of Mengshou, the emperor of Wu during the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.).

Jizi was a man of great moral integrity and famous for the story called "Jizi of Yanling Hangs up His Sword."

In 544 B.C., Jizi was sent to the ancient state of Lu as an envoy, passing through Xucheng, the capital of the ancient state of Xu, and was hospitalized by the Lord of Xu. Jizi once made a promise to himself that after he finished his diplomatic mission in the north, he would give his sword to the Lord of Xu, who admired it.

But by the time he got back, the Lord of Xu had passed away. Therefore, Jizi went to Xu's tomb to worship and hung the sword on a willow tree in front of the tomb as a way to honor his vow.

For more than 2,000 years, the story of Jizi has been passed down orally by the local people. People in Danyang built a Jizi Temple to honor his great contribution to Chinese culture and have practiced his virtues from generation to generation.

Yin Siqi is a senior high school student in Danyang. She was abandoned by her parents when she was a little girl due to tuberculosis. Her grandfather, Yin Guohua, decided to raise her and took her to hospitals for treatment many times.

Although life is difficult, Yin and her grandfather have fought against the odds. After meticulous treatment, she recovered from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, she needed spinal correction surgery as a result of tuberculosis complications. The treatment cost approximately 200,000 yuan (about 31,420 U.S. dollars), putting a significant financial burden on the family.

After learning of this, the local government assisted them in raising money. They gathered more than 130,000 yuan. When they decided to go for surgery, fate once again played a prank on Yin Siqi.

Through two joint consultations with experts and 11 days of hospitalization, doctors gave the result that the operation was quite risky with a cure cate of less than 10 percent. After much deliberation, Yin and her grandfather decided to give up the surgery.

Though disappointed, they did not forget those who helped them. They made the decision to return the money.

"We didn't expect to raise such a large sum of donations in such a short period of time, and we were so grateful," said Yin Guohua. "The money was raised for my granddaughter's surgery. We must return all of it because she was unable to receive the surgery. The good deeds of others will live on in our hearts forever."

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Yin Guohua and Yin Siqi chose to do the right thing, following in the footsteps of Jizi.

KEY WORDS: China,Culture,Integrity,Promise,Jizi