"To speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroic virtue." --Francis Bacon
Moral character is the most precious asset a person possesses. It determines whether he can be successful or not and is the best assistance one can have in life.
Good Fortune Follows Those with Great Moral Character
People with great virtue and moral character are always blessed.
During World War II, during a day of heavy snow, General Eisenhower had received an important order and travelled in a hurry on the snowy road at night. On the way, he discovered an old couple sitting trembling on the roadside because of the cold. He felt sympathetic toward them so he stopped and went to speak to them to see if they were all right. It turned out that the couple were going to their son's home in Paris, but their car had broken down in the bad weather. Since they were stuck in the middle of nowhere, they could only wait until someone came to rescue them. General Eisenhower immediately asked the driver to send the old couple to Paris. Later on, he found out that the enemy had ambush arranged on his original route. By changing his plans, he escaped. The general sighed, "I thought it was me who saved the French couple. Now I realized it was them who saved me!"
The Winning Hand in Life is Moral Character
There is a Chinese story about how the Buddhist Abbot, Master Huei-Tung selects his successor. In order to decide who was qualified to be the next Buddhist Abbot, Master Huei-Tung called two of his disciples, Chih-Neng and Wen-Yuan, and gave each of them a bag of paddy seeds. Master Huei-Tung said to them when it reached the time to harvest, the one who has the most amount of grains will be the next Buddhist Abbot. When the harvest season arrived, Chih-Neng brought a great number of grains whereas Wen-Yuan brought nothing. Master Huei-Tung asked him the reason. Wen-Yuan was embarrassed saying that he did not grow the paddy rice well and the paddy seeds did not even germinate. Master Huei-Tung laughed and immediately assigned Wen-Yuan to be the next Buddhist Abbot. Chih-Neng was not convinced and asked for the reason. Master Huei-Tung replied, "How can you grow the cooked paddy seeds?" Chih-Neng blushed.
Actually, Master Huei-Tung did not care if his disciples could grow the paddy seeds well but if they could be honest.
Translated by Sharon L
Edited by Helen