Classical Chinese philosophy and stories: Zeng Shen killed someone (曾参杀人)

By | July 17, 2013

Confucius (孔子) had a student named Zeng Shen. One day, a man who also shared the name of Zeng Shen killed someone. The news was soon spread to the hometown of Zeng Shen, student of Confucius.

A neighbor of the family of Zeng Shen told the mother of Zeng Shen that her son had killed someone. After hearing the bad news, the mother of Zeng Shen was still doing the weaving and said in composure: “my son won’t kill anyone.”

Soon after this, another person came to the mother of Zeng Shen and said “Zeng Shen is really involved in a murder.” The mother of Zeng Shen still did not care about what she was told.

When the third person came to tell the mother of Zeng Shen the same thing, she can’t keep the composure any more because at that time families of a murderer will be executed together with the murderer. The mother of Zeng Shen after hearing the words from the third person fled the house started the running.

Even though the mother knew the son Zeng Shen very well and truly trusted her son; but such trust can still be ruined by the rumors. Thus it can be seen that unfounded rumors can be terrible and influential.

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