One day in the late seventh century A.D., the emperor Tang-Kao “Magnificent” wanted to visit a city located several hundred miles from the imperial palace. Due to famine and plague, many starving farmers had abandoned their lands and became ruthless highwaymen. They frequently held up and even killed travelers on unguarded routes. Nobody dared to leave the city without heavy protection. Some of the most notorious gangsters frequently raided the suburban areas of the capital city. The emperor was deeply worried for is safety, and dispatched a competent censor Wai Yuan-Jong, as an advanced unit, to secure the road.
Confidently accepting this tough task, the official, to all of his colleagues’ surprise, flatly declined an offer to receive a company of well-trained imperial soldiers as bodyguards, and abruptly called on a nearby prison. After a few minutes of scrutiny, he hand-picked a notorious gangster, generously provided him with clean clothes and a delicious meal, and immediately hired him as his bodyguard.
After several days of intense observation, the official condidently promoted this bodyguard to become the chief inspector for his advance unit. This gangster was astonished by is unexpected good fortune and deeply appreciated the official for this new position. To prove his ability and repay his master’s kindness, the gangster, with tens of years’ experience as a criminal, did his best to assure the tranquility of this imperial journey. With hundreds of fully loaded carriages and thousands of servants and eunuchs, the royal caravan was a slow wealthy target. But the emperor proceeded peacefully. Not a penny was lost.
Everyone is useful on some occasions in some ways. With proper guidance, a chimpanzee can communicate with people. On the other hand, in the wrong time and place, a well-educated gentleman can become a shameless swindler or a dangerous murderer. People always appreciate opportunity and recognition. Through observation, a wise person can properly motivate, utilize and maximize other people’s potential ability and attain a faithful and dedicated servant.