If a Ruler Is Amiable and Approachable, the People Will Submit to Him Willingly
Being amiable and easily approachable is a type of virtue. It is a manifestation of one's high moral accomplishment; it is also being respectful of others. People respect and like to be around this kind of person, and they are willing to comply with him.
Duke Dan of the Zhou Dynasty was King Wu's (also of the Zhou Dynasty) younger brother. In the first year of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 – 771 BC), Duke Dan's eldest son Boqin was granted the Kingdom of Lu and became the King of Lu. It wasn’t until three years after Boqin began his rule of the Kingdom of Lu that he went back to report to the Duke about his rule. The Duke asked him, "Why did it take you so long to report?" Boqin said, "I was changing the customs of the Kingdom of Lu and transforming their etiquette. It took me three years to eliminate the old customs. That's why it took me so long."
At that time, Jiang Ziya, the prime minister, was granted the Kingdom of Qi. In only five months after Jiang Ziya went to rule his kingdom, he came back to report to the Duke about his rule. The Duke asked him, "Why have you returned so quickly?" Jiang Ziya replied, "I simplified the formality between the ruler and the ministers and governed the Kingdom according to their customs."
Jiang Ziya later heard about Boqin's report to the Duke. He sighed, "The Kingdom of Lu's descendants will submit in the future to its northern neighbor, the Kingdom of Qi! If the way of ruling is not simplified, the people will not be willing to be close to their ruler. If one is amiable and easy to approach, the people will certainly be willing to submit to him."
As matter of fact, this not only applies to ruling a country, it also applies to dealing with people and doing things in general. If one behaves as Boqin, only wanting to change others to the point of arrogance and seeing himself as better than others, who then would want to be close to him? This will inevitably isolate him. On the other hand, if one is amiable and easy to approach and respects others with a humble and mild manner instead of arrogance, people will naturally be happy to be near him and willing to listen to him. This is why Jiang Ziya said that the Kingdom of Lu would submit to the Kingdom of Qi in the future.