Talented Officials are More Valuable than Auspicious Omens

It is documented in the Tang Dynasty chapter of the book Zi Zhi Tong Jian that during the rule of the Emperor Taizong (598 – 649 AD, ruling from 626 – 649 AD), white magpies built a nest above the palace. The nest was small in the middle and large at either end, as if two nests had been pushed together, similar to a waist drum. All his officials complimented the birds, saying, "Ordinary things in this world don't like to be combined because they cannot tolerate each other. Now two bird nests have merged to become one with a special shape. It is truly remarkable--a reflection of the harmony existing between heaven and earth, and the virtue of Your Majesty, our Emperor. We really need to celebrate this event."
Taizong said, "I often laughed at the Emperor of the Sui Dynasty, who did not pay attention to talented officials but liked auspicious omens. As a result, his country perished. In my opinion, what is truly auspicious is having talented officials managing our country well, and having our people be happy and peaceful. As for the rare birds and wonderful beasts, they are only slightly different from ordinary things. This is not enough to be called auspicious and is unworthy of a celebration." He then ordered the nest to be destroyed and the birds to be returned to the wild.
    来源: 看中国 责编: Kitt

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