养民 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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yǎnɡmín 养民

Nurturing the People

养育人民,包括满足人民的生活需要和对人民进行教育。《尚书·大禹谟》将其作为“善政”(良好政治)的目的;为了实现这一目的,治国者必须治理、协调好“六府三事”。“六府”是指金、木、水、火、土、谷,即人民生活所需的各种物质资料;“三事”是指“正德”(端正人民品德)、“利用”(使物质资料为百姓所用)、“厚生”(使人民生活充裕)。这是一种以民为本、物质文明和精神文明兼顾并举的治国理念。

This term means to provide the people with necessities of life and educate them. According to The Book of History, this is what constitutes good governance. To reach this goal, the ruler must manage well the “six necessities and three matters,” the six necessities being metal, wood, water, fire, land, and grain, and the three matters being fostering virtue, proper use of resources, and ensuring people’s livelihood. This concept of governance, which focuses on promoting both economic and ethical progress, is people-centered.

引例 Citations:

◎德惟善政,政在养民。水、火、金、木、土、谷,惟修;正德、利用、厚生,惟和。九功惟叙;九叙惟歌。(《尚书·大禹谟》)

(帝王的德行要体现为良好的施政,施政要以养育民众为目的。水、火、金、木、土、谷六种生活资料一定要准备充足;端正德行,物尽其用,使民众富裕,这三项工作要兼顾协调。这九个方面的事情都要安排有序,九件事做好了,就会得到歌颂了。)

The king’s virtue is reflected in good governance, which means to nurture the people. The people’s need for water, fire, metal, wood, land, and grain must be well satisfied; and fostering virtue, proper use of resources, and ensuring people’s well-being should be pursued in a coordinated way. When these nine things are accomplished in an orderly way, the king will win people’s respect. (The Book of History)

◎夫贫生于富,弱生于强,乱生于治,危生于安。是故明王之养民也,忧之劳之,教之诲之,慎微防萌,以断其邪。(王符《潜夫论·浮侈》)

(贫困由富足中产生,衰弱由强盛中产生,动乱由太平中产生,危险由平安中产生。所以贤明的君主养育人民,经常担忧他们的疾苦,慰劳他们的艰辛,加强对他们的教诲,小心谨慎地防患于未然,断绝一切邪恶产生的源头。)

Poverty stems from wealth, weakness from strength, turmoil from stability, and danger from security. Therefore, as he nurtures the people, a wise ruler cares about their sufferings, thanks them for their work, and teaches and instructs them so as to eradicate the seeds of evil no matter how tiny they might be. (Wang Fu: Views of a Hermit)

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