Integrity means righteousness, word being true to ac-tion, keeping one’s word and never cheating others. ”To be always true in word and resolute in deed”, ”What is said cannot be unsaid”, these are the old sayings that lasted for generations, which depicted a good picture of Chinese people with integrity and keeping their word. For thousands of years, these qualities have been honored and practiced diligently by people.
About 2 000 years ago, Confucius taught his disciples that ”When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it. This is the right attitude toward study.”
Zengzi was also a person who was upright and always abided by his word. One day, Zeng’s wife was about to go to the market, her little son was making a tearful scene insisting to go with her. In order to calm him down, she coaxed him into not going with her with a prize of slaughtering a pig for him to eat when she returns. When she got back from the market, she saw Zengzi was on his way to slaughter a pig and tried to stop him. Zengzi said, ”Once you deceived him, he would not believe in you any more.” Therefore, the pig was killed. By never lying to his son, Zengzi taught his son with his action to keep faith.
In the late Qin Dynasty, there was a man called Ji Bu, who was always true to his word. It is said that ”Ji Bu’s promise is more valuable than tons of gold”, which is the origin of the famous saying ”One promise equals to one ton of gold”. Later on, Ji Bu got in trouble, he escaped it thanks to his friends’ help. It is obvious that when someone keeps to his word, he will be rewarded with respect and honor.
In the past, there was always a sign at the entrance of the store, saying ”genuine goods at a fair price, equally honest with aged and child customers”, which shows that during trade transactions in old China, it is honorable to be honest in business.