As the ancient saying goes, ‘good is rewarded with good, and bad is rewarded with bad’.
In compliance with this saying, it follows suit that honesty will bring about countless rewards and blessings. This story is an example of just that.
Xu Shaoyu lived at the end of the Qing dynasty, under the reign of Emperor Guangxu. In early August 1890, he borrowed 100 silver coins from his friend Yi Zhai without signing a contract of any form. What they did have, however, was a verbal contract. They verbally agreed that the money would be returned on the same date a year later.
However, in early August of the following year, Xu fell fatally ill. On his deathbed, he mumbled repeatedly, “It’s almost time to pay Yi. What should I do? What happens if I die?”
His wife told him, “You never signed a contract with him, so you have no obligation to keep your word. Do not worry about it”.
Xu replied, “He lent me the money without making me sign a note because he trusted my word. How could I not keep my promise?”
He instructed his wife to sell a jade yuri they had in their possession (a curved decorative object used as a ceremonial scepter in Chinese Buddhism), and two fox fur robes, for which they obtained 90 silver coins. They borrowed another 10 silver coins and returned the money to their friend on the designated date.
Miraculously, Xu made a full and unexpected recovery a few days later.
The moral conveyed by the story is clear, if you make a promise, you must keep it, the rewards of a clean conscience are exponential. We should strive to follow the principle of honesty, which is a traditional and fundamental virtue. When a person values honesty and keeps his promise, by all means, he will be blessed.