The esteemed Mr. Wang Lyang-Bin was a conserver by nature, and he derived his greatest pleasure from liberating living creatures. Every year, on the Spring Festival Day, as well as on his own birthday, he felt he must buy live snails, take them to the river, and set them free. Whenever he saw people capture and cage birds, he would also buy and release them.
One year, one of his sons wanted to arrange a banquet in honor of Mr. Wang's birthday. There would be singing and dancing performers as well as entertainment and delicious foods to eat. When Mr. Wang learned of this he told his children, "Going to all this expense while harming and killing living creatures in the process cannot be compared to using the money to rescue and protect the living instead." His children all agreed what he said was very reasonable, and so they put his idea into action. Therefore, the number of live animals liberated on Mr. Wang's birthday that year surpassed the total number of creatures he had liberated on all his previous birthdays.
Time passed, and Mr. Wang aged. One day his neighbor was in the process of selling an ox to a butcher for slaughter, when suddenly the ox broke away and ran up to the main gate of Mr. Wang's house. The ox knelt there on the steps and lowered its head before Mr. Wang, as if beseeching him to save its life. Mr. Wang, without the slightest hesitation, paid several thousand dollars for the ox, and from then on fed and cared for it.
Following that incident, Mr. Wang's son became a distinguished and respected member of the Imperial Court, and the Court bestowed upon Mr. Wang himself the honorific title, "Prime Minister of the Military," to demonstrate that he was held in the highest esteem by the government.
Commentary: The single thought to use money that would have been spent on killing living beings to liberate them instead, truly influences others. The retributions of disasters and the rewards of blessings are as far apart as the highest heavens and lowest depths. Worldly people who can emulate Mr. Wang's behavior, will enjoy a hundred years' longevity, and their descendants will be noble and respected. In comparison, pleasures derived from halls filled with the sounds of lutes, flutes, and song, and the blade and chopping block defiled with crimson blood, will only decrease one's lifespan. How can the disasters from evil and blessings from goodness be spoken of in the same breath?