Meaning of the Idiom
da gong wu si（Perfectly impartial）
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), a very noble official caled Qi Huangyang lived in the State of Jin. One day, the king summoned him to court and asked, “Now that the magistrate position of Nanyang county is vacant, who do you think is suitable for the post?”
“Xie Hu is the right man for the job,” Qi replied without hesitation.
Surprised, the king asked, “Did you say Xie Hu? I thought he’s your enemy. Why did you recommend him to take such an important position?”
Smiling, Qi Huangyang said, “Your Majesty didn’t ask me my personal opinions o Xie Hu. You simply asked me who I thought would be competent for the position. Therefore I recommended Xie Hu.
The king followed Qi’s advice and made Xie Hu magistrate of Nanyang county. And sure enough, Xie Hu administered the county very well and won respect from local people and his colleagues.
Some days later, the king again asked Qi Huangyang for his opinions. This time, the king was trying to find a suitable candidate for a court judge position. Qi Huangyiang recommended Qi Wu for the job. Once again, the king was surprised again by the recommendation because Qi Wu was the son of Qi Huangyang. The king asked: “Who do you recommend your son? Aren’t you afraid people will gossip?”
Qi Huangyang replied, “Your Majesty, you asked me who was the most capable person for the position of a judge, and I think Qi Wu is.”
Although the king was a bit hesitant about making Qi Wu the judge, he nevertheless gave him the position. As it turned out, Qi Wu was an upright and talented judge, who people GREatly respected.
Qi Huangyang’s actions were praised by Confucius who said, “Qi Huangyang was right. He recommended people according to their abilities and talents, not because of personal sentiments， not because of fearing others’ gossip. Therefore, people like Qi Huangyang are referred to as people “without selfish motives”.
From Confucious’ comment came the idiom “Unselfish”. Anyone who handles affairs fairly and impartially can be described as “Unselfish; Perfectly impartial”.
[dà gōng wú sī]，比喻一心为公，毫无私心；常用来歌颂人的优良品质和秉公处理事情。
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