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Han Xin was a military strategist who rendered outstanding service towards the founding of the Han Dynasty (207 B.C. - A.D. 221). When he was young his family was poor and he was looked down upon. Once a young man humiliated him in front of a crowd of people. He said to Han Xin, “Although you are strongly built and likes to carry a sword, you are inwardly a coward. If you are not afraid to die, come and try to stab me with your sword. If you are afraid to die, then crawl under my crotch.?


Han Xin looked at the man for a long while and then bent down and crawled through the man’s parted legs. All the people in the street laughed at him, thinking he was a coward. Later, when Han Xin became the Prince of Chu, he summoned to an interview the young man who had humiliated him, and appointed him to an official post. To all the civil and military officials, Han Xin said, “This man is a good fighter. I could have killed him when he humiliated me. But there nothing praise worthy in killing him. That was why I endured this humiliation and achieved what I’ve achieved today.?(Best Chinese Idioms Vol. 2, Situ, Tan 163-64 Hai Feng Pub. Co. Hong Kong, 1988)


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