5,000 Years of Chinese Culture: Making a Sacrifice for a Friend

Two friends from the Eastern Han period in ancient China (Image: Wikimedia / CC0 1.0)
Two friends from the Eastern Han period in ancient China. (Image: Wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

When you make friends, have you ever considered the personalities of the kinds of people you get along with? Here’s a short story related to a friendship that took place during the Eastern Han period in ancient China.

A man named Xun Jubo went to visit a friend who lived far away and was very ill. At that time, the Xiongnu army was attacking the city where Jubo’s sick friend lived. The friend told Jubo: “You had better leave quickly. Don’t worry about me, I won’t live long anyway.” After hearing this, Jubo immediately replied: “I traveled all this way to visit you, yet you want me to leave. It goes against my dignity to be selfish and care only for my own well-being and leave you behind. It is something I simply can not do.”

As they were talking, the Xiongnu soldiers broke into the house. One of the soldiers shouted at them: “All the people in the city have fled, but both of you dare to stay here.”

The theft of the ancient Chinese terracotta soldier’s finger by a U.S. citizen has stirred up quite a debate. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A man named Xun Jubo went to visit a friend who lived far away and was very ill. At that time the Xiongnu army was attacking the city where Jubo’s sick friend lived. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Jubo answered: “My friend is critically ill. I can’t bear to leave him behind. I would rather sacrifice my life than go without him”  When the Xiongnu soldiers heard this, they realized how loyal Jubo was. They were so moved by Jubo’s actions, they said: “We are not a righteous people, and we are attacking a righteous city.” Finally, the Xiongnu army retreated, and the city was saved.

Jubo risked his life to protect his sick friend because their friendship was built on a foundation of morality and righteousness. This is true friendship. Righteousness will not change one’s stance due to wealth, poverty, or at the point of extreme danger. There is the initiative to willingly sacrifice one’s own self to protect others. This is also a manifestation of sincerity.

Jubo’s righteous deed not only saved the life of his friend, but also the entire city. Meanwhile, the enemy troops retreated with humility. This shows how righteousness is a powerful force behind moral actions.

Do you have a very good friend you’ve shared happy moments and hardships with? Please share this article with all your good friends as a way to show how much they mean to you, and you can also share your own similar story under this article.

Translated by Chua BC

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