Emperor Yao's Humility

A short story on how Emperor Yao role modeled humility and responsibility.

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Once, Emperor Yao was walking through his kingdom, when he saw two people being arrested by the police. The Emperor asked what happened. The police told him these two villagers are being arrested for stealing food.

The Emperor then asked the two villagers, “Why did you steal food?”

The villagers told him, “There hasn’t been rain for a long time, so our crops died, and we have nothing to eat.”


After hearing this, the Emperor told the police to let the two villagers go and to arrest him instead. The police were baffled and asked,

“But you’re the Emperor! On what grounds can we arrest you?”


Emperor Yao replied,

“It’s my fault for not teaching my citizens well. That’s why they resorted to stealing. Furthermore, my lack of virtues is related to this long drought. I have not done a good job as Emperor.”


As soon as the Emperor finished speaking, the sky turned grey, and rainfall came shortly after.

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