Yu Rui was a minister of the state of Jin during the Spring and Autumn period of China. In 636 B.C, he was involved a failed rebellion and thus was killed by his monarch. Being deprived of all properties due to this, his son, Yu Que, became a poor farmer.
Yet, Yu Que did not repine at his unhappy lot, instead, he worked very hard and treated his families and friends nicely, which helped him win general respects from his neighbors. Yu Que's wife was also a reasonable, strong-willed woman who had never complained to her husband about the difficult life. The couple loved and respected each other even more than before.
One day, a high official of Jin named Jiu Ji happened to walk pass Yu Que's field, seeing Yu Que's wife bringing food to her husband in a very respectful manner, while Yu Que rendering thanks respectfully as well.
Moved by this scene, Jiu Li visited the Duke of Jin and said: "Your highness, I saw Yu Sui's son Yu Que today. Though he and his wife are poor and humble now, they respected each other as if the other were a honorable guest. Respect is a demonstration of virtues. If one can keep his virtues even in the hardship, he must be able to make a good official."
The Duke had heard about Yu Que too, but he still hesitated. " His father is a rebeller, is it wise to do so?" the Duke asked.
Jiu Ji replied," Father is father; son is son. Emperor Shun exiled Gun but promoted his son Yu who finally tamed flooding rivers and lakes; the Duke Huan of Qi killed his rival for the throne, but appointed his rival's tutor as prime minister who finally help him achieve the hegemony. "
Convinced by Jiu Ji, the Duke put Yu Que in an important position, and the latter soon proved himself capable and worthy of confidence.
Background and Writer Comment:This Chinese idiom story is from "the Chronicle of Zuo (左传)".
The idiom of "Respected Each Other As If The Other Were A Honorable Guest--Xiang Jing Ru Bin" refers to good couple who treat each other with respect.