A Qing Dynasty Official's Sacrifice Earns Him Good Fortune
A man named Liu Qi lived in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). When he was the governor of Ningqiang Region, Sh8892nxi Province, he sold his own property to pay taxes for his citizens, who were in debt due to a famine. His generous sacrifice earned the respect and trust of his citizens. As a result of his kindness, his family was rewarded with good fortune.
During a major famine in Sh8892nxi Province in 1699, Liu Qi's region was hit the worst. His people were starving, but there was no grain left in the government stores. Transportation to other regions was difficult, since they were located in a big mountain range. Liu Qi asked the emperor to allow him to borrow grain from neighboring regions, and he promised his citizens that anyone who brought one bucket of grain back would be rewarded with 30% of their haul. With that incentive, his people brought back over three thousand loads of grain in ten days.
Liu Qi was then sent to help Yang County, where he used the same method to encourage people to collect grain. He told the Yang County magistrate, 「We borrowed the grain from the government stores, so if our citizens can't pay back their debts, we have to help them.」
Liu Qi quit his post in 1722 to return to his hometown to mourn his mother’s death. However, since he did not have enough money to pay for his citizens’ debts as he had promised, he sold his property and later asked his brother to do the same, in order to collect enough money to help his citizens to pay the taxes they owed.
Liu Qi later was promoted to be the Jiangxi provincial judge and the governor of Sichuan Province.
Through his selfless actions, he was remembered as one of the most honest and trustworthy high-ranking government officials of the Qing Dynasty.
His actions also earned him and his family good fortune. His son Liu Tongxun, grandson Liu Yong, and great grandson Liu Huanzhi all became high-ranking government ministers. His grandson Liu Yong’s story is cast in a popular TV drama in modern China.