It’s not easy for people to change once they’ve become set in their ways, but this story illustrates the beauty of a changed heart.
Mr. Wang Lei was a well-respected scholar in his village known for being virtuous.
Once, a thief was caught for stealing a cow. But the thief owned up and the cow’s owner decided to let him go.
The thief asked “I was lost and didn’t know how to live a virtuous life. Now I have decided to be a new person. Since you have pardoned me, could you please not let Mr. Wang Lei know about it?
Later, the story made its way to Mr. Wang anyway.
He was happy that the thief made the right decision, so he sent some clothes to encourage the thief for taking up a righteous lifestyle.
A few years later, an old man was walking down the road carrying a heavy bag.
Suddenly, someone came up behind him, took the bag from him and carried the bag for twenty miles without saying a word.
The old man was very thankful and invited the stranger to his home for a rest.
But the man just laid down the bag and left, without even telling the old man his name.
A while later, the old man realized that he had lost his sword while he was out.
Fortunately, he found someone had kept watch over the sword and was waiting for the owner to come back and get it.
When the old man came back, he realized that the young man who had kept watch over his sword was the same person who had carried the bag for him!
The old man was very grateful.
“I have never met anyone this kind. Please let me know your name and I’ll tell Mr. Wang Lei about you!” he told the young man.
When the old man told Wang about him, he was delighted to discover that man was the thief he had given clothes to, many years ago.
It has been said that if you have a kind heart you have completely fulfilled your purpose on earth.