The Spirit of Han Xin

Evan Mantyk, Contributing Writer

Han Xin was one of ancient China’s greatest military generals. He came from humble beginnings and rose to greatness, directly taking a lead role in the founding of the mighty Han Dynasty. The Han Dynasty was so important in Chinese history that the main Chinese ethnicity today is known as Han Chinese and a name for the Chinese language is Hanyu.

What kind of man does it take to forge such a dynasty? A few stories off the battlefield are perhaps the most telling about what kind of man Han Xin was. When he was young, the orphaned Han Xin was destitute and suffered many hardships. Most people ignored him, but one woman took pity and gave the starving boy some food.

After the meal, Han Xin said, “Ma’am, I shall repay you in full.”

She replied, “Young man, you can’t even feed yourself!”

From a young age, Han Xin liked to practice martial arts and would carry a sword with him. One time, a street hooligan blocked Han Xin’s way and told him, “Either crawl between my legs, or take out your sword and cut off my head.”

Back then, crawling between someone’s legs was an incredibly humiliating act, yet killing someone was also strictly against the law. Instead of giving in to his anger and breaking the law, Han Xin restrained himself and indeed crawled between the hooligan’s legs. He took the humiliation lightly, unphased in his heart.

The years passed and Han Xin rose to military greatness, helping to establish one of history’s most prosperous and glorious eras: the Han Dynasty.

True to his word, Han Xin later sought out the woman who had once fed him. He gave her a handsome sum of gold (200 pounds). Han Xin knew that the bully’s act of humiliation also contributed to his personal growth, so he found the fearless man and rewarded him too. Seeing the general's magnanimity, the hooligan thanked him greatly and begged for forgiveness.

From all of this, we see that Han Xin was a man not easily carried away by emotions in getting angry and didn’t care what others might have thought on such a superficial matter as crawling between someone’s legs. He was also deeply thoughtful and attentive to details in remembering those from his past and rewarding them as he saw fit. Yet, he was also aware of the big picture and realized that a great dynasty must be founded through military triumph—and that he was just the man to do it.  

Be a part of the mighty spirit and thoughtful elegance of Han Xin with our Han Xin Men’s Scarf. Its elegant design and warm virgin wool blend are perfect for a gentleman on his way into life’s battle, or to repay an old acquaintance.

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