"Well, I am not dainty with my food; neither am I always wanting to cool myself when hot. However, this morning I received my orders, and this evening I have been drinking iced water. I am so hot inside. Before I have put my hand to the business I am suffering punishment from within; and if I do not succeed I am sure to suffer punishment from without. Thus I get both punishments, which is really more than I can bear. Kindly tell me what there is to be done."
"There exist two sources of safety," Confucius replied. "One is Destiny: the other is Duty. A child's love for its parents is destiny. It is inseparable from the child's life. A subject's allegiance to his sovereign is duty. Beneath the canopy of heaven there is no place to which he can escape from it. These two sources of safety may be explained as follows. To serve one's parents without reference to place but only to the service, is the acme of filial piety. To serve one's prince without reference to the act but only to the service, is the perfection of a subject's loyalty. To serve one's own heart so as to permit neither joy nor sorrow within, but to cultivate resignation to the inevitable,—this is the climax of Virtue.
"Now a minister often finds himself in circumstances over which he has no control. But if he simply confines himself to his work, and is utterly oblivious of self, what leisure has he for loving life or hating death? And so you may safely go.