The Noblest Feat

Zheng Jian, Contributor, Dora Li, Contributing Translator

Many years ago, there was a wealthy businessman who had three sons. Because he was very old, he planned to give his property to one of his sons before he died.

One day, he called his sons in and told them, “I want you to travel abroad. Come back in one year and tell me the noblest thing that you do while you were away. I will give all my property to the one who performs the noblest feat.”

A year passed, and the three sons returned home. The oldest son said, “I met a stranger who gave me a bag of golden coins and he asked me to keep them for him. Later, when he died, I returned all the golden coins to his family.”

The father said, “Honesty is part of your character, so this is not the noblest feat.”

The second son said, “I traveled to a poor village, and saw a boy struggling in the river. I immediately jumped into the river and saved him.”

The father praised him but said, “Saving people is your personality, so this cannot be regarded as the noblest feat.”

The third son said, “I had an enemy. He tried to kill me several times, and each time I nearly died. One night, I saw him sleeping on the branch of a tree near a cliff. If I had given him the slightest kick, he would have fallen into the bottomless abyss. Instead I woke him up and told him to go home. I know that this was probably not a noble feat...”

When the father heard this, he said, “You were able to overcome your grievances against him and help your enemy. This is a most noble and holy feat, and you did it. I give all my property to you.”

Doing good deeds is fulfilling our responsibility as human beings and cannot be regarded as extraordinary. However, treating your enemy with compassion and repaying anger with kindness is truly the noblest feat in the world.

7 comments

This was amazing story.

pradnya November 27, 2021

I enjoyed this story. I believe the moral of the story is be kind to those that are not kind to you. forgiveness is so important. And we overcome evil by doing good. Love never fails.

Paulette B Arnold November 27, 2021

I am So Mesmerized by You Alls Culture, Sayings and Beliefs that it Truly Touches My Heart, Body and Soul when I read such Words of Life… Thank You 🙏

Rodriguez F Mack November 27, 2021

Thank you for this wonderful story.
With your permission may I share this with my children and on my facebook?

Happy thanksgiving

teri v nguyen November 27, 2021

What a beautiful lesson n profound wisdom; I will remember that what is natural in my personality to do is not a great feat, it is just in my nature!!!!

Mauri November 27, 2021

Beautiful story. Very inspiring!

Arthur November 27, 2021

Wonderful story. I thought all the sons responded well but the last son took it further : do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

PS. I saw the mug and would like to purchase one. Tell me how. Thank you

Sally November 27, 2021

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published