Nothing to fear

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子曰:「天生德於予,桓魋其如予何?」
Confucius said: “Heaven has bestowed me with virtue. What do I have to fear from Huan Tui?”

According to Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian, Confucius spoke these words when his disciples urged to him to flee after Huan Tui, an official of the state of Song, attempted to assassinate him by cutting down a tree under which the sage was carrying out a ritual.

Since Confucius believed that Heaven had control over his destiny, he wasn’t in any particular hurry to escape from the clutches of Huan Tui. Or of course he was just putting on a brave face in front of his disciples to reassure them that everything was OK.

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