Chinese Idiom Stories
Perfectly Fair and Impartial
Chi Huang-yang lived during the Spring and Autumn Period. When the king asked him who he thought would be a suitable magistrate for Nan-yang Country, Chi Huang-yang answered, "Shie Hu would definitely do a very good job." The king was very surprised at this answer, and asked him, "Isn't Shie Hu your enemy? How come you're suggesting that he do the job?" Chi Huang-yang replied, "You only asked me who would make a suitable magistrate for Nan-yang Country; you didn't ask me whether or not Shie Hu was my enemy!" So the king sent Shie Hu to be the magistrate of Nan-yang Country, and as expected, he did many good things for the people three.
When Confucius heard about this, he praised Chi Huang-yang highly. When recommending a person for a job, Chi Huang-yang considered only that person's ability. Even if a person was his enemy, he would still make known that person's good qualities. Chi Huang-yang was a perfectly fair and impartial person.