Confucius was a famous educator in ancient times. To realize his ambitions, he traveled from nation to nation, looking for a wise ruler. One day, Confucius and his disciples ran out of rice to eat. They had eaten only vegetables for many days and they felt very hungry. It so happened that Yanhui, one of Confucius’ disciples, came back with some rice. He hurried and went to cook the rice for his teacher. However, Confucius saw Yanhui opening the pot lid and used his bare hands to scoop up some rice and taste it. Confucius pretended that he did not see what happened.
Afterward, Yanhui brought a bowl of rice to Confucius and said, “Teacher, I have cooked the rice, please eat first.” Confucius replied, “I dreamt of my ancestors this morning. Now, I would like to offer this clean bowl of rice to my ancestors.” Yanhui heard this and quickly replied, “Teacher, I am sorry but I tasted the rice already. It cannot be used to pay respects to your ancestors.” Confucius asked, “Why did you taste it first?” Yanhui’s cheeks turned red and he said, “Something dirty dropped into the rice but it would be wasteful to throw the rice away. So, I ate the dirty part of the rice.”
Confucius sighed and said, “Many people believe that seeing is believing. But sometimes you can't believe all that you see. If you really want to know someone, you have to use your heart!”