Home China The Butchered Pig: A Lesson in Honesty

The Butchered Pig: A Lesson in Honesty

Zeng Zi (505-432 B.C.) was from Nan Wu in what is now China’s Shandong Province. When he was 16 years old, he was accepted as a student of Confucius. He eventually became one of the most important disciples of Confucius.

Zeng Zi advocated that family prosperity requires filial duty, self-cultivation relies on sincerity, and one should teach by personal example, not just by verbal instruction.

“Zeng Zi Butchered a Pig” is a story that describes how Zeng Zi educated his son about honesty by keeping a promise.

A statue of Zeng Zi and his mother. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)
A statue of Zeng Zi and his mother. (Image: wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

One day, Zeng Zi’s wife was going to the market. Her son was crying while following her. She was annoyed and wanted her son to go back home, so she said:

Zeng Zi’s wife came back from the market and Zeng Zi led the pig into the yard for slaughter. He was about to kill it when his wife stopped him and said:

Zeng Zi said disapprovingly:

Translated by Kitty Zhong.

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