Mencius Preaching Benevolent Governance-孟子宣讲仁政

Mencius, following in the footsteps of Confucius, embarked on a journey across various states, advocating for benevolent governance.

In the state of Wei, he met King Hui of Wei, who boasted of his dedicated governance during times of famine. However, despite his efforts, the population did not increase. Mencius responded with a metaphor, likening the king’s governance to soldiers fleeing a battlefield at different distances. He emphasized that by alleviating burdens on the people and promoting agriculture and education, prosperity and order could be fostered.

Arriving in the state of Qi, Mencius served as a guest official under King Xuan of Qi. When asked about the methods of past rulers who achieved hegemony, Mencius redirected the conversation to the importance of benevolent governance. Despite Mencius’ counsel, King Xuan remained focused on military conquest rather than benevolent rule.

Throughout his travels, Mencius encountered rulers more interested in military prowess than ethical governance. Despite his efforts to promote benevolent rule and social stability, Mencius faced rejection and ultimately returned to his hometown to compile his teachings, leaving behind the enduring legacy of “The Mencius.”

Mencius began advocating for benevolent governance at the age of 44, facing resistance at every turn, and concluded his travels at the age of 62, returning home to compile “The Book of Songs,” teach, and expound upon the teachings of Confucius, leaving behind the enduring masterpiece “The Mencius.”