When Facing an Opportunity to Exercise Benevolence, Do Not Yield.
This phrase means that one should behave ethically and never dodge one’s responsibility. Ren (仁 benevolence) is the highest virtue upheld by Confucius. In general, it refers to everything that is right to do, namely things compatible with moral principles and social justice. The term is similar in meaning to “committing oneself completely out of a sense of duty,” and “feeling morally obliged.” It promotes a positive attitude that takes safeguarding morality and justice as one’s own responsibility and dares to shoulder and execute that responsibility.
Confucius said, “When faced with an opportunity to be benevolent, one should not yield even to one’s own teacher.” (The Analects)
Courage can serve different purposes. Some people show courage at the spur of momentary emotions, while others do so for the sake of a just cause. A man of virtue becomes courageous when moral principles are at stake, whereas a petty man may be courageous in order to show off momentarily in front of others. (More Writings of the Cheng Brothers)