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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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Discerning > Cause and Effect

The Divine being will not bestow blessings or cast curses on one family alone. Those who do good deeds will be blessed with luck and fortune, while those who do bad deeds will be plagued with misfortune. Even small virtuous deeds can cause the whole nation to rejoice; while bad deeds, even if they are just minor offenses, may cause the whole nation to crumble.

Scroll 2: Shang Shu

Life or death, fortune or misfortune, are all but the result of our own doings. When people accumulate a multitude of meritorious deeds, no natural catastrophe will befall them.

Scroll 10: Kong Zi Jia Yu

When people behave badly upon the learning of good omens, the good omens will change to become disasters.

Scroll 40: Jia Zi

Natural disasters can be averted as long as people are willing to abandon their devious ways and do more good instead. But if they continue to commit bad deeds without remorse, they will never be able to escape the onslaught of misfortunes.

Scroll 2: Shang Shu

The sages are like creditors who hold on to the left side of a contract, but who do not use it to pressure debtor to return the borrowed goods. The virtuous, just like the sages, are always giving but not collecting. On the other hand, unscrupulous people are like tax collectors who are always collecting but not giving. In the way of heaven, there is no partiality of love; it is always on the side of the good man.*

Scroll 34: Lao Zi

*In ancient China, the “contract” was a bamboo piece divided into half, with the list of borrowed items engraved on each half—the left half with the debtor’s name is retained by the creditor, the right half with the creditor’s name is retained by the debtor. When goods are returned, both halves are matched to authenticate the contract.


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