bù wàng bǎi xìng zhī bìng 不忘百姓之病
Never Forget the Suffering of the People
Confucianists believe that the aim of a government official is to have people live in peace and contentment. Officials must always bear in mind the people’s well-being, to be concerned about their suffering, and do their best to keep them free from misery. This embodies the Confucian concept of “benevolent governance,” a fine Chinese ethical tradition and the responsibility of those with lofty ideals, working for social prosperity and the people’s well-being. This concept is well expressed in the line: “Worry before everyone else has to worry, and feel happy only after everyone else can feel happy.”–in the “Memorial to Yueyang Tower” written by Fan Zhongyan (989 -1052), an eminent minister of the Song Dynasty.
One may be physically injured, but one must never be robbed of aspiration. Even in a perilous position, one must still be concerned with how to realize their aspiration to alleviate the suffering of ordinary people. (The Book of Rites)