Tourism | Fine Tradition of the Kang Family in Heluo to Respect Teachers Passes on for Ages

As an ancient saying goes, "One must respect his teacher and then follow the teacher's instructions". The protagonist of the story I'll tell today is Zhao Fengming, a tutor of home school of the Kang Family. Born in nowadays Yanshi City, he is a man of integrity all his life and has never been a follower of the rich and powerful. Above flattery, he is righteous and poor but with lofty ideals. He is famous across the Heluo region for "wide knowledge and rigorous scholarship".

During the Three Kingdoms Period, there was the story that Liu Bei paid three visits to the thatched cottage of Zhuge Liang for inviting the wise man to assist him in reunifying the whole nation. While during the Qing Dynasty, there was the story about Kang Yingkui who was refined and courteous, respected teachers and valued education. He had invited Zhao Fengming to teach at the home school of the Kang Family for three times.

Zhao Fengming spared no pains to teach in the Kang Family for decades, imparting knowledge to members from the 14th generation to the 17th generation of the Kang Family, including Kang Yingkui and Kang Hongyou. He had a deep friendship with the four generations of the Kang Family. He played a key role in passing on and carrying forward the family tradition of the Kang Family, educating the children of the Kang Family to achieve academic success and start official careers, and cultivating the successors of the Kang Baiwan Family.

Kang Yingkui paid three visits to Zhao Fengming when inviting him to teach for the Kang Family. When Kang Yingkui learned that Zhao Fengming resigned from the official post and was at home, he sincerely invited Zhao Fengming to run a home school in nowadays Kangdian Town to impart knowledge to members of the Kang Family by providing a handsome reward. He acted because he knew that Zhao Fengming was not only knowledgeable, but also perceptive about the Three Cardinal Guides and the Five Constant Virtues, which made Zhao a good teacher of etiquette.

The first time when Kang Yingkui visited Zhao Fengming, Zhao refused the gift and kept Kang Yingkui waiting outside the door for the whole day. Kang Yingkui was not allowed to enter to talk nor drink. Even when it came to the meal time, Kang Yingkui was not invited to dine with him. It made the footman angry from such shame. The footman complained that Kang Yingkui was so well-behaved that he was fooled by the pedant. Kang Yingkui with a good temper smiled to stop the footman's complaints. In fact, Zhao Fengming had been calmly observing Kang Yingkui's every move in a position that wouldn't be discovered by Kang. He did so just to test the "sincerity" of the Kang Family in inviting him as the tutor.

The second time when Kang Yingkui visited, Zhao Fengming let his wife receive Kang. During the reception, his wife kept asking questions. Kang Yingkui answered them one by one. It was seemingly an occasion of asking and answering interchangeably and chatting freely. In fact, profound meaning was contained in every question. Zhao Fengming let his wife do so to test the "moral quality" of the Kang Family.

The third time when Kang Yingkui visited, Zhao Fengming met with him. However, he deliberately niggled and discomfited Kang Yingkui in the presence of all. Correspondingly, Kang Yingkui behaved as usual to talk and answer questions and laughed off Zhao Fengming's purposely making difficulties for him. In fact, Zhao Fengming did so to test the "patience" of Kang Yingkui.

Kang Yingkui knew that it was not easy to invite Zhao Fengming to teach for the Kang Family. It was beyond the reach of ordinary people. Therefore, he had already anticipated what might happen and knew that there would be challenges in inviting Zhao Fengming to teach for the Kang Family. Only after Kang Yingkui passed the three tests did Zhao Fengming agree to be the tutor of the home school of the Kang Family.

Zhao Fengming was indeed a learned man. He taught students according to their aptitude, formulated different teaching plans, and developed the interests and wisdom of each child. He successively taught Daoping, Daoshun, Daoxing and their fellow brothers. He was devoted to imparting all his knowledge to the children of the Kang Family, who also became outstanding figures afterwards as expected.

The four generations that Zhao Fengming once taught for the Kang Family respected Zhao from the bottom of their hearts. Zhao Fengming returned to private life in his later years, but was badly off. The Kang Family visited him regularly every year and provided financial support. When Zhao Fengming was bedridden in his later years, Kang Wuyi and Kang Hongyou even prepared doctors and medicines and served him personally with meticulous care. When Zhao Fengming passed away, generous articles were bestowed by the Kang Family. Kang Hongyou and other children of the Kang Family put on mourning apparel and saw him off until he was buried.

The Kang Family's descendants showed great respect to their tutor, making the Kang Family a model of respecting teachers and valuing education on both banks of the Yiluo River. A couplet hung on the pillars of a hall in the Kang Family reads, "Heaven-Earth-Sovereign-Parent-Teacher must be respected and revered". It can be seen that the Kang Family has conferred teachers a lofty social status as that in the universal ethical principle orientation of Heaven-Earth-Sovereign-Parent-Teacher. The teachers' selfless devotion should never be forgotten. The succession of teachings from masters to disciples endures forever. For people today, we should vigorously carry forward the fine tradition of respecting teachers and valuing education, so as to promote the people's eagerness to learn, the progress of social civilization and the sustainable development of culture.

Copyright by Zhengzhou Municipal Tourism Administration