Confucius said: “Min Ziqian is such a filial son! Nobody differs from his parents and brothers in their praise of him.”
One of Confucius’s favorite disciples, Min Ziqian was renowned for the filial piety he is said to have shown during his miserable childhood. After the untimely death of his own mother, he suffered terrible abuse from his father’s second wife, almost dying of cold on one occasion after she had lined his clothes with weeds rather than warm cotton.
But when his father heard of this and threatened to throw his stepmother out of the house, Min Ziqian interceded on her behalf, telling him that if he did that three of his sons would suffer while if she stayed on only one would go cold. Not surprisingly perhaps, the stepmother was so touched by his kindness that she never treated him badly afterwards.