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The Way Of A Leader
Character Building
- Guard against greed
- Be frugal and diligent
- Refrain from anger
- Emulate good deeds
- Correcting our own mistakes
Be Respectful of Relatives
Be Respectful of Wise and Able Ministers
Be Receptive to Counsels from Ministers
Be Averse to Slanderous and Malevolent Advice
Be Perceptive and Astute
The Art Of A Minister
Uphold Integrity
Serve with Utmost Loyalty
Presenting Counsels
Nominating the Right Administrators
Esteeming Virtues
Be Respectful of the Dao
Filial Piety and Kinship
Benevolence and Righteousness
Be Sincere and Trustworthy
Righting Oneself
Be Discreet
Making Friends
The Art of Learning
On The Subject Of Administration
Engaging the Principles
Good Judge of Character
Appointing Officials
Paramount Impartiality
Teach and Transform
Propriety and Music
Caring about People
The Livelihood of People
Learn from the Past
The Basis of Principles
Reward and Punishment
Law and Statute
Be Careful With Military Actions
Generals and Soldiers
Respectfully Cautious
Taking Precautions
Social Customs
Conquering Chaos
Heedful of Troubling Signs
Making Correct Response
Exercise Caution from the Beginning to the End
Maintaining Good Health
Good or Evil
Human Sentiments
Talents and Virtues
Formation of Cliques
Differences that Matter
Cause and Effect

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On The Subject Of Administration > Law and Statute

Try using benevolent means first before enforcing the law. Try using education to transform people first before using penalties to punish them. This is the order of importance in the governing of a country.

Scroll 50: Yuan Zi Zheng Shu

The legal system is neither bestowed by heaven nor born out of the earth. It is created by human beings to regulate and restrict their behavior. If we can get to the root of the problems, we will not make petty mistakes. If we can master the principles, we will not be trapped in doubts. If a ruler is able to handle a task competently, he will not reproach or criticize others for their inability to do the same. If the ruler is unable to accomplish a task, he will not demand others to accomplish the task for him. What he does not want others to do, he must first forbid himself to do the same. Therefore, a ruler must lead by example, and when legislators are able to follow and abide by the prohibitions that they have established, the populace will certainly become law-abiding.

Scroll 35: Wen Zi

King Cheng of Zhou dynasty said: “To my officials at all levels: You are expected to manage your work dutifully. You should be careful with any orders that you issue, and once an order has been issued, it must be carried out and cannot be changed at will. Be fair-minded and let go of personal interests or grievances. If you can do so, people will definitely trust and follow you.”

Scroll 2: Shang Shu

Shang Shu said: “It is better to be faulted for not following the usual investigation procedures than to make a mistake and putting innocent people to death.”

Scroll 17: Han Shu, Vol. 5

Confucius said: “In hearing lawsuits, I am no better than anyone else. What is imperative is to make it so that there are no lawsuits.”

Scroll 9: Lun Yu


The Governing Principles of Ancient China - Qunshu Zhiyao 360 • e-mail: amtb@amtb.tw