Cao Cao’s life is simple. There is only one meat dish at home

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Cao Cao is the “best” in the Eastern Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era: his political, military and literary talents are the ultimate; Its frugality is also extreme.

Many people may separate Cao Cao’s political, military and literary talents from his frugality in life. In fact, Cao Cao’s frugality is interlinked with other talents. His honesty contributed to his political and military achievements; His political and military career developed his integrity.

Frugality and probity: smoking is not allowed when there is only one meat dish at home

First, talk about Cao Cao’s frugality in life. I won’t repeat the story that you readers are already familiar with. Let’s pick a few details to tell.

In Cao Cao’s “internal commandments”, there is such an article: “it is not good to be alone, but to be strict.” The main idea is that I don’t like appliances with gorgeous decorations. For example, the trunk is made of bamboo, sewed with coarse cloth, and “made of coarse cloth in silk clothes”. Cao Cao went to the front with such a simple suitcase, and this is his normal, “this solitary ordinary use”.

As for food, family meals are nothing more than “meat”, which is a meat dish. Even Mrs. Cao Bian invited her brother’s family to dinner. She didn’t even have fish and meat, so she was lonely and cold.

In the Eastern Han Dynasty, people liked incense. For example, Xun Yu, a counselor of Cao Cao, was called “Xun Lingxiang” or “Lingjun Xiang”, which showed that Xun Yu liked incense. According to Xiangyang Ji, every time Xun Yu sat in a place, it took three days to incense there. Xun Yu is a subordinate of Cao Cao, and his economic conditions are no better than Cao Cao. All of them have such a large amount of incense, which shows that Cao Cao can still afford it. Who knows Cao Cao’s bad mouth? In his “internal commandment”, he said: “in the past, when the world was first settled, i banned smoking at home.” Cao Cao’s daughter also loved beauty, but she couldn’t catch up with this fashion. Later, she married Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty. Because it was a royal specification, she finally smoked incense. Cao Cao also regretted that she couldn’t prohibit her married daughter from smoking incense, “I wish I couldn’t ban it for the first time”, and I wish I could implement the original ban on incense.

Of course, Cao Cao is not ignorant of flexibility, so there are exceptions to allow appropriate incense burning in order to remove the smell of the room. At that time, it is estimated that the incense can also play the role of air freshener and remove the indoor odor, so Cao Cao allowed “the house is dirty, listen to burning Maple gum and Hui incense”. This is completely from a practical point of view to incense, forced to do it.

Cao Cao was lonely and cold until his death. Before his death, he ordered the women in his family to support themselves.

From these details, Cao Cao has little interest in material enjoyment. Why is this so?

Strong sense of mission: self expectation of “not having your own body, not daring to be selfish”

In history, people who are honest and upright in performing official duties are generally people with a sense of mission. Such people are enthusiastic about career and have strong career desire, but their material desire is very indifferent. Cao Cao belongs to this kind of people.

In the 18th year of Jian’an, that is, in 213 A.D., Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty wanted to make Cao Cao Duke of Wei. When Cao Cao said in his reply to Emperor Xian of the Han Dynasty about his expectations for himself, he said, “I don’t want to be selfish.” In other words, my body doesn’t belong to me personally. I don’t dare to be selfish. Although this sentence has a bit of self praise, Cao Cao didn’t come out for personal gain at the beginning. He is a person with a strong sense of mission.

Cao Cao’s initial plan for his life was to be a sheriff, “build reputation”, “remove the filth”, and eliminate the ugly phenomena in the local area, so that the world can understand his ambition and establish his own good image. Later, the situation forced him to go home, but he was not in a hurry to find a job. Instead, he planned to spend 20 years studying and exercising, “reading in autumn and summer, shooting in winter and spring”. However, due to the situation, his subjective wish could not be realized, and he had to go out to fight in the north and south to “do meritorious deeds for the country”.

Staying at home, he reads and hunts; Come out, he begged the thief for meritorious service. Between advance and retreat, he didn’t have much selfishness, only a sense of mission. Without selfishness and greed, you can free up more space to do business. In fact, he also makes more room for wisdom, so that his career is more comfortable.

Zhuangziyun: “those who have deep hobbies have shallow secrets.” People who are too greedy are smart, but smart is a problem. Cao Cao often boasted of his wisdom. When he went to fight with machao in the northwest, he attracted many people to watch. Cao Cao pointed to his head and said conceivably: villagers, I’m not good-looking. I’m not three heads and six arms, but I have a little more wisdom in my head, “only more wisdom”. Why “how smart”? It has a lot to do with his indifferent material desires.

Therefore, the book of Wei recorded that every time Cao Cao was in battle, “he meant to be at ease”, as if nothing had happened, and then “changed like a God”. From “leisure”, we can see that he is calm, calm, indifferent, and wisdom comes from indifference. Therefore, he does not panic when fighting in battle, and often can defeat the enemy. In fact, this is quite similar to Zhugeliang.

If you worship yourself with honesty, you can worship him with abundance. As for Cao Cao’s generosity, those who have read the romance of the three kingdoms also know that Lao Cao is generous enough to Guan Gong: a small banquet on three days and a big banquet on five days; Mount a horse with a hoof of gold, dismount a hoof of silver; They also sent brocade robes and red rabbits. The details are exaggerated, but there is still a historical basis. Historical books record that “if he gets something extravagant, he will be rewarded with meritorious service, meritorious service, and generous money”. If he gets luxury goods, he will be rewarded to the meritorious person immediately. As long as the level of merit is enough, he will never be stingy with thousands of money. It is because Cao Cao is stingy to himself and empties his greed that he can free up so much wealth and honor to others. This is also a manifestation of making room for wisdom.

Therefore, Cao Cao’s frugality and probity cultivated his political and military talents and contributed to his great cause. In the years of strife at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, if greed was too heavy, it would hinder the play of wisdom, and it would take minutes for other warlords to destroy it. For example, Dong Zhuo, Yuan Shu, and gongsunzan were all heroes for a time. However, Dong Zhuo and gongsunzan built private castles and accumulated food, grass, and treasure. They thought they had nothing to worry about and died the earliest; Yuan Shu was crowned emperor, extremely luxurious, and “extravagant”. As a result, he died the earliest. Before he died, he thought the rice was too rough and asked for honey. It can be seen that honesty is not only a personal character cultivation, but also a necessary political and military accomplishment.

Historical secret: Cao Cao rewarded Guan Yu or saved it from his teeth

Looking at historical figures, we should not only look at their own cultivation, but also look at the times. The times are also shaping characters. To be specific, it is the needs of the times that are shaping characters.

Cao Cao came out to start a business at a time when the material conditions were extremely difficult. The society of the Eastern Han Dynasty was greatly damaged, with famine everywhere, and the supply of grain and grass became a problem. Cao Cao and Lv Bu fought fiercely in the north. After retreating many times, they did not lose Lv Bu, but ran out of food and grass. They had to go back and find them.

You remember Chen Lin’s denunciation of Cao Cao written for Yuan Shao, which satirized that Cao Cao sent a “gold school captain” to dig a tomb. It is said that China’s gold stock suddenly fell sharply at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, because people were afraid of the Yellow turban uprising, which resulted in a large number of gold burying. This also revealed one point: the finance of Cao Cao group is very tight.

Therefore, Cao Cao had to save money to maximize the supply of the operation of his military group. For example, his “propaganda order” mentioned that his orchestras walked to work, did not have horses, and also streamlined personnel, with the purpose of “loving horses for soldiers and food for soldiers”. Save and supply everything to the front.

In Cao Cao’s documents, we can still see his shabby appearance. Cao Cao’s “military policy order” mentioned that when he fought with Yuan Shao, old yuan had 10000 pairs of high-quality armor, while old Cao had only 20 pairs; Lao yuan had 300 pieces of war horse armor, while Lao Cao had less than 10 pieces.

Material difficulties, Cao Cao to defeat Yuan Shao, strategic materials do not save some use. In those days, before the decisive battle between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao, Cao Cao probably saved Guan Yu from his teeth in order to retain talents. Guan Yu is also a sensible person. On the one hand, he is a famous man who is not moved by material desires. On the other hand, he may know that Lao Cao is not easy. Therefore, before leaving, he hung his seal and sealed the gold, and all of them returned.

Therefore, we can well understand why Cao Cao was so happy with the thick financial statistics book and population registered residence book after he captured Yecheng of Yuan Shao.

In a word, Cao Cao’s frugality is due to his personal cultivation on the one hand, and the military situation on the other. His personal cultivation met the needs of the times and his political and military talents, so he succeeded.

Cao Cao is a controversial figure, but his handling of the relationship between career and wealth and his indifference and honesty in material life are still worth learning from later generations. His achievements in history should have something to do with his lifestyle.

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