In the temptation scene of the 2010 Chinese blockbuster "Confucius", the sage(played by Chow Yun-Fat) said in response to an immodest proposal from Nanzi, the infamous consort in the Kingdom of Wei: 微臣從沒見過, 如斯好德如好色的人
The Master said, "I have yet to meet a man who loves Virtue as much as he loves female beauty."
There are many interpretations of the sage's message of self cultivation, one being that if people love virtue as much as they love female beauty, then they will discard immorality and return to rectitude. Xie Liangzuo expresses it best:
"Loving a beautiful woman or hating a foul smell - these are examples of sincerity. If one could only love Virtue the way one loves female beauty, this would mean sincerely loving Virtue. Unfortunately, few among the people are able to do this."
Confucius puts it more explicitly in Analect 9.24:
The Master said, "When a man is rebuked with exemplary words after having made a mistake, he cannot help but agree with them. However, what is important is that he change himself in order to accord with them. When a man is praised with words of respect, he cannot help but be pleased with them. However, what is important is that he actually lives up to them. A person who finds respectful words pleasing but does not live up to them, or agrees with others' reproaches and yet does not change - there is nothing I can do with one such as this." ("Confucius Analects: with selections from traditional commentaries," translated by Edward Slingerland, Hackett Publishing 2003)
In the aftermath of the recent skirmishes in parliament, one Minister has acknowledged that his political party does not have the monopoly of talent. If the exercise turned out to be a moral education for our schools, the lesson is timely.