A man of principle

柳下惠為士師,三黜。人曰:「子未可以去乎?」曰:「直道而事人,焉往而不三黜!枉道而事人,何必去父母之邦!」
Liuxia Hui was dismissed three times as a magistrate. People said. “Why don’t you go elsewhere?” He replied: “If I stick to the principles of justice where would I not suffer the same fate? If I am to violate the principles of justice, why would I need to leave the land of my parents?”

First mentioned in Chapter XIII of Book 15 of the Analects, Liuxia Hui was a member of one of the great patrician families in Confucius’s home state of Lu. Just like the unfortunate Bi Gan in the previous chapter of the Analects, he held a fairly minor position in the bureaucracy – though happily he managed to avoid a similarly gruesome fate.

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