When I was eight, I overheard my father said, “Zhao Kuangying is really a hero. He escorted the lady Jing home for one thousand li.”
I thought, “How ridiculous! A general, who led an army of 300,000 soldiers defeating Huns, should be called a hero, how could someone escorting a lady be called a hero?”
When I grew up, I understood what my father meant. In the widely circulated story, the lady Jing, a seventeen-year-old pretty girl, while worshiping her ancestors in an old temple with her maidservant, two bandits came to bother them; luckily, Zhao Kuangying happened to pass by, beat the bandits away and rescued the two girls. He treated the girl Jing as his own sister without any wicked thoughts, and protected them travel for a thousand li home.
Zhao Kuangying was highly respected due to his strong self-control, chivalry, expertise in martial arts, and firm stand in justice. His good reputation and strong character enabled him to lead the army and people to reunite China and establish the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). At thirty-three years old, Zhao Kuangying became the first Emperor of the Song Dynasty, called Emperor Taizu of Song, and reigned for seventeen years.
A high-minded person has self-control, and self-control is the essence of true power. If you lose control of yourself, you also lose the power to influence others. Many religions advocate self control. In Bible, Proverbs 25:28 says, "A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls."
Different people have different level of self-control. Though Zhao Kuangying earned himself a good reputation, the girl Jing was left to doubt her attractiveness.
On January 25, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi made the comment suggesting that Italy's women are so beautiful they need military escorts to avoid rape. Consequently, he was criticized widely for his barbarian logic, though Berlusconi claimed he was complimenting women. Most people take his comments profoundly offensive, because he should blame the real cause of crime – lacking of self-control.