Li Hang was prime minister under Emperor Zhenzong in the Song dynasty. Whenever he was given an audience, he always brought up bad news such as the crime rate in the country, the decline of social morals, natural disasters and so on. The emperor was so displeased that his face would change color.
“Why do you always talk about bad things?” Li Hang’s colleagues demanded. “We are living in a time of peace. Aren’t we lucky enough to hold office? The issues you raised are being handled by various officials. Is it necessary to tell the emperor about them and make him unhappy? If you insist on reporting them, it is better to report after they have been dealt with.”
“I disagree,” Li Hang said. “I want to make sure that the emperor has things to worry about. If he is free from all anxieties, he may indulge himself and lose self-discipline.”