爱屋及乌 (ài wū jí wū)
There was a state called zhou (zhōu 周) in the Chinese history. One day, the king of zhou asked his officials for advice on dealing with prisoners of war. An official said, “i once heard if you love someone, you are intended to love even the crows on the roof of his house; if you hate someone, you are intended to hate even the walls and the parapets of his. The prisoners of war were enemies fighting against us. In my opinion, we’d better kill them all.” But the king didn’t agree with him. “I think we should treat the prisoners of war differently by differing them into those who are guilty and those who are not. The guilty ones will be sentenced to death in order to avoid future disasters.” Another official put forward his suggestion. The king didn’t think it was a proper way, either. Then a third one said, “Your majesty, I think all the prisoners should be set free and sent back home to work in the fields and support themselves by their own labor. Moreover, you should keep strictly the rules for reward and punishment and treat your relatives and friends impartially. The people are sure to believe in you if you administer our country by morals and laws.” The king thought the official’s proposal was quite reasonable so he accepted and followed it. As a result, the domestic situation soon settled down and gradually the country became more stable and stronger. The idiom is then used to mean that if you love someone, you’ll love people and things relative to him as well.