Stories from History: How Zhang Qixian Divided the Assets


During the time of Emperor Zhenzong (968-1022 A.D.) of the Song Dynasty, two of the Emperor’s relatives did not agree with the amount of each other’s endowment, argued about it, and had complained about each other at the Censorate’s office.

Emperor Zhenzong had the case reviewed more than ten times and couldn’t get it settled.  The Emperor then ordered Prime Minister Zhang Qixian to handle it.

Zhang Qixian called in the two families and asked them, “Do you all think the other family has more than your family does?” They all answered, “Yes.”

Zhang Qixian had both families write and sign an appeal letter, sent two officials to the two families, and had them moved into each other’s homes without moving any assets. Then he had the two families exchange the deeds and other documents and the two families quieted down immediately.

The saints have said, “Though peace reigns over the land, stupid people create trouble for themselves.”

If everyone can practice a little tolerance, the world will become so much quieter.

From Sushuijiwen

Translated from:

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