Korean King, Fourth King of Joseon
"It is in order to avoid confusion in undertakings by the people that they have a king rule over them. How, then, could a king hope to live up to the dignity expected of him as a ruler when he refuses to hear out his people when they bring to his attention injustices done to him?"
"A tree deep-rooted, unshaken in the wind, its blossoms fair and its fruits abundant. A spring deep-founded, unceasing in the drought, its stream flowing down to the open sea."
"Being of foreign origin, Chinese characters are incapable of capturing uniquely Korean meanings. Therefore, many common people have no way to express their thoughts and feelings. Out of my sympathy for their difficulties, I have created a set of 28 letters. The letters are very easy to learn, and it is my fervent hope that they improve the quality of life of all people."
"Although those of superior ranks are wiser than their subordinates and should be able to make the right decisions, the subordinates must not hesitate to correct their superiors, if they feel with certainty that the latterâ€™s decisions are wrong."
"A wise ruler should not neglect minority opinions and give a careful hearing. Nevertheless, it would be foolish for a monarch to make decisions based on a single personâ€™s opinion."
"Leading a sheltered existence inside a palace, I am not aware of all the going-ons among the people. If there are any matters that cause anguish to the people, you should report them to me without failing."
"How could a king who should rule over all people and all things in the country with impartiality treat those of low birth any differently from the way he treats others?"
"One of the most essential ingredients of great statesmanship is trust, and especially expressing trust."
"The people are the roots of a nation, and the roots should be strong so as to create a peaceful nation."
"Unlike many other occupations, scholars have the greatest responsibility to the people. Their work can ultimately improve the lives of all people for many decades. But if an academic becomes lost in his study, he cannot see how his work can benefit others. Therefore, like a well-balanced fencing stance, or a reasonable argument, the scholarâ€™s life must be even and balanced."