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About Confucius



Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period. The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. Wikipedia

ReferencesEncyclopaedia Britannica   |   Biography.com

  

Confucius (quotes)

Quotes by Confucius

  • All men are born good.
  • The cautious seldom err.
  • Woman is the masterpiece.
  • Never seek illicit wealth.
  • Excess weakens the spirits.
  • Rotten wood cannot be carved.
  • He who sling mud, lose ground.
  • An angry man is full of poison.
  • Sincerity is the way of heaven.
  • To think twice is quite enough.
  • A picture is poem without words.
  • Be in harmony, yet be different.
  • Heaven means to be one with God.
  • One joy dispels a hundred cares.
  • Whatever heaven ordains is best.
  • Behind every smile there’s teeth.
  • The chase of gain is rich in hate
  • Words are the voice of the heart.
  • A man of wisdom delights in water.
  • Don’t use cannon to kill musquito.
  • I could see peace instead of this.
  • In language clarity is everything.
  • What the wise seek is in themselves
  • Humanity is the equity of the heart.
  • When the wind blows,the grass bends.
  • With a heavy load and a long journey
  • A heart set on love will do no wrong.
  • It is better to play than do nothing.
  • Man shoot at nothing, sure to hit it.
  • Have no friends not equal to yourself.
  • he who will not economize will agonize
  • Make fair agreements and stick to them
  • Never hesitate to ask a lesser person.
  • No matter where you go – there you are
  • What is necessary is to rectify names.
  • A youth is to be regarded with respect.
  • Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.
  • To know and not do, is to not yet know.
  • Who contains himself goes seldom wrong.
  • Every journey starts with a single step.
  • Faithfulness and sincerity first of all.
  • From a grain of sand in the Pearl comes.
  • He who chases two rabbits, catches none.
  • Learning without thought is labour lost.
  • The funniest people are the saddest once
  • The object of the superior man is truth.
  • The person of benevolence never worries.
  • Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
  • An angry person is always full of poison.
  • Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle.
  • Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
  • Good is no hermit. It has ever neighbors.
  • He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail
  • I am not an originator but a transmitter.
  • If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.
  • Seek Not Every Quality In One Individual.
  • The man of humanity delights in mountains
  • The superior man limits his achievements.
  • To be fond of learning is near to wisdom.
  • To love a thing means wanting it to live.
  • An image is better than one thousand words
  • Bird in hand makes it harder to blow nose.
  • Every man knows the smell of his own fart.
  • To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
  • True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know
  • All things are already complete in oneself.
  • Do not let a leader lead you on a bad path.
  • Don’t let your past determine your destiny.
  • Excess and deficiency are equally at fault.
  • He who is really kind, can never be unhappy
  • He who kisses girl on hillside is not level
  • I never really said all those things I said
  • Man who want pretty nurse, must be patient.
  • Never tire to study. And to teach to others
  • Plan ahead or find trouble on the doorstep.
  • Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
  • When strict with oneself, one rarely fails.
  • Heaven is author of the virtue that is in me
  • Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.
  • The more people know, the more they forgive.
  • The whole end of speech is to be understood.
  • Time flows away like the water in the river.
  • To understand yourself is the key to wisdom.
  • When anger rises, think of the consequences.
  • When frying small fish, disturb them little.
  • When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.
  • Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly
  • If we don’t know life, how can we know death?
  • Respect yourself and others will respect you.
  • roads were made for journeys not destinations
  • Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.
  • Coloring requires a pure and clear background.
  • Do unto others as you wish others do unto you.
  • Future generation is the most important thing.
  • Silence is the true friend that never betrays.
  • Thought, unassisted by learning, is dangerous.
  • Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach.
  • A man who lacks reliability is utterly useless.
  • He who will not economize will have to agonize.
  • I followed my heart without breaking any rules.
  • Learning, undigested by thought, is labor lost.
  • Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
  • Return good for good; return evil with justice.
  • Study the past, if you would define the future.
  • A Nation’s character is typified by its dancers.
  • An inconvenience is an unrecognized opportunity.
  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.
  • One dedicated worker is worth a thousand slaves.
  • Study the past if you want to define the future.
  • A hammer shatters glass but it also forges steel.
  • A man without a mustache is a man without a soul.
  • Eat at your own as you would the table of a king.
  • He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.
  • Not to alter one’s faults is to be faulty indeed.
  • Teachers open the door … you enter by yourself.
  • The inner nature of man is the province of Music.
  • The sun and moon shine on all without partiality.
  • Who heeds not the future will find sorrow at hand
  • All people are the same; only their habits differ.
  • Baseball is wrong, man with four balls cannot walk
  • Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.
  • He is the truly courageous man who never desponds.
  • He who take cookie to bed have crummy night ahead.
  • One hundred women are not worth a single testicle.
  • Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.
  • Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.
  • The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it.
  • What is most needed for learning is a humble mind.
  • When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.
  • You cannot open a book without learning something.
  • Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
  • Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
  • Heaven begat Virtue in me; what can man do unto me?
  • Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.
  • Table your mistakes, learn from them, then move on.
  • The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.
  • The man of upright life is obeyed before he speaks.
  • We should worship as though the deity were present.
  • What can a man do with music who is not benevolent?
  • Even in killing men, observe the rules of propriety.
  • Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Girl who sit on Judge’s lap get honorable discharge.
  • Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
  • If your desire is for good, the people will be good.
  • The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.
  • The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.
  • Without Goodness one cannot enjoy enduring happiness
  • Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
  • Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.
  • The mirror reflects all objects without being sullied
  • Virtue is not solitary; it is bound to have neighbors
  • Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity.
  • I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women.
  • If the great man be not grave, he will not be revered.
  • If you don’t know how to live, why wonder about death?
  • If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.
  • In teaching there should be no distinction of classes.
  • Let mourning stop when one’s grief is fully expressed.
  • Only the supremely wise and the ignorant do not alter.
  • Heaven gives long life to the just and the intelligent.
  • Men do not stumble over mountains, but over mole hills.
  • To become a leader, you must first become a human being
  • To err and not reform, this may indeed be called error.
  • A gentleman wishes to be slow to speak and quick to act.
  • Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
  • I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.
  • If you don’t want to do something,don’t impose on others
  • One who can move mountains start with the little stones.
  • Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
  • Remember even when alone, that the divine is everywhere.
  • The great man is sparing in words but prodigal in deeds.
  • The man who loves his job never works a day in his life.
  • When admins have faults, they do not fear to ignore them
  • A gentleman is ashamed to let his words outrun his deeds.
  • A superior man is one who is free from fear and anxieties
  • Big head, target for enemy; big heart, target for friend.
  • Do not treat others as you yourself would not be treated.
  • He who keeps danger in mind will rest safely in his seat.
  • If you try to do too much, you will not achieve anything.
  • If you want to change the world, first change your heart.
  • The proper man understands equity, the small man profits.
  • The strongest memory is not as strong as the weakest ink.
  • The superior man is intelligently, not blindly, faithful.
  • To lead uninstructed people to war is to throw them away.
  • We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.
  • What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.
  • When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty.
  • Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
  • Care not for being unknown, but seek to be worthy of note.
  • Knowledge is recognizing what you know and what you don’t.
  • The Gods cannot help those who do not seize opportunities.
  • The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.
  • The rich fool is like a pig that is choked by its own fat.
  • Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.
  • An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.
  • First there must be order and harmony within your own mind.
  • It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife
  • Not to mend one’s ways when one has erred is to err indeed.
  • Respect the gods and the devils but keep them at a distance
  • The man who is master of himself drinks gravely and wisely.
  • There are 1,000 lessons in defeat. But only one in victory.
  • To throw oneself into strange teachings is quite dangerous.
  • What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
  • You can cheat an honest man but not make a fool out of him.
  • A man living without conflicts, as if he never lives at all.
  • A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.
  • I’d rather die for speaking out, than to live and be silent.
  • The end of the day is near when small men make long shadows.
  • The love to Wisdom is getting closer to the own bright path.
  • The superior man is distressed by his want (lack) of ability
  • Those who know the TRUTH are not equal to those who love it.
  • To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
  • A fool marvels at rare things, but a wise man at common ones.
  • Be loyal to yourself, charitable to neighbours, nothing more.
  • He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity
  • If I understand Change, I shall make no great mistake in Life
  • Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.
  • The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.
  • To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.
  • Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.
  • A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.
  • A scholar who loves comfort is not fit to be called a scholar.
  • Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?
  • If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day.
  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  • Never overlook wallflower at dance; may be dandelion in grass.
  • The superior man is firm in the right way and not merely firm.
  • There has never been a man mean and at the same time virtuous.
  • Those who make virtue their profession are the ruin of virtue.
  • You do not understand even life. How can you understand death?
  • A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.
  • Between friends, frequent reproofs make the friendship distant.
  • Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
  • Gravity is only the bark of wisdom’s tree, but it preserves it.
  • Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.
  • Our headstrong passions shut the door of our souls against God.
  • The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.
  • You turn the handle the way it goes, not the way it ought to go
  • A true gentleman makes demands upon himself but not upon others.
  • Ah, music, sacred tongue of God! I hear thee calling and I come.
  • Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
  • The gentleman prefers to be slow in word but diligent in action.
  • The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
  • Wisdom is rooted in watching with affection the way people grow.
  • A gentleman is calm and spacious: the vulgar are always fretting.
  • An inch of time on the sundial is worth more than a foot of jade.
  • Charity, like the sun, brightens every object on which it shines.
  • Happiness is not at the top of the mountain, but in how to climb.
  • He who knows right principles is not equal to him who loves them.
  • I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
  • If a man sets his heart on benevolence he will be free from evil.
  • If you devote your life to seeking revenge, first dig two graves.
  • If you know, say you know. If you don’t know, say you don’t know.
  • If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.
  • Labor, but slight not meditation; meditate, but slight not labor.
  • Respect the gods, but have as little to do with them as possible.
  • She who is born with beauty is born with a sorrow for many a man.
  • The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.
  • To know your faults and be able to change is the greatest virtue.
  • A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.
  • He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.
  • Knowing what’s correct and not doing it, it’s the worst cowardice.
  • The gentleman desires to be halting in speech but quick in action.
  • The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
  • The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it
  • We should not be too familiar with the lower orders or with women.
  • Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.
  • A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
  • If either wealth or poverty are come by honesty, there is no shame.
  • It is better not to proceed at all than to proceed without purpose.
  • It is only the very wisest and the very stupidest who never change.
  • The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.
  • Those who do not study are only cattle dressed up in men’s clothes.
  • Those whose courses are different cannot lay plans for one another.
  • Transport a handful of earth everyday and you will make a mountain.
  • Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas.
  • A man exercising no forethought will soon experience present sorrow.
  • All the darkness in the world can’t put out the light of one candle.
  • Everyone eats and drinks; yet only few appreciate the taste of food.
  • If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations.
  • The vices come as passengers, visit us as guest and stay as masters.
  • They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
  • True goodness springs from a man’s own heart. All men are born good.
  • True knowledge is when one knows the limitations of one’s knowledge.
  • When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.
  • A man who does not forget an agreement is resolved and honorable man.
  • A workman who wants to do his work well must first prepare his tools.
  • Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society.
  • Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
  • Grieve not that men do not know you; grieve that you do not know men.
  • If you don’t know how to serve men, why worry about serving the gods?
  • Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.
  • It is man that makes truth great, and not truth that makes man great.
  • Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.
  • The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
  • The superior man loves his soul; the inferior man loves his property.
  • They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
  • Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
  • When people are educated, the distinction between classes disappears.
  • If you lead the people with correctness, who will dare not be correct?
  • If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.
  • Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.
  • Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.
  • Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
  • The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
  • The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
  • There is only one thing in life which never changes, and it is change.
  • Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.
  • A gentleman considers what is right; the vulgar consider what will pay.
  • A happy union with wife and child is like the music of lutes and harps.
  • A wise man has dignity without pride; a fool has pride without dignity.
  • Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.
  • Every thoughtful pin on pinterest has beauty. But not everyone can see.
  • He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.
  • I was complaining that I had no shoes till I met a man who had no feet.
  • If my mind be not engaged in worship, it is as though I worshipped not.
  • Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.
  • Stars are holes in the sky from which the light of the infinite shines.
  • Straight-forwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.
  • To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.
  • To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.
  • When you breathe, you inspire, and when you do not breathe, you expire.
  • A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.
  • By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.
  • Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.
  • He who merely knows right principles is not equal to him who loves them.
  • He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.
  • I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.
  • It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
  • Not too isolated, not too many relationships, the middle, that’s wisdom.
  • The only people who cannot change are the most wise and the most stupid.
  • Why should man boast of his strength; is not the horse stronger than he?
  • Cultivate the root; the leaves and branches will take care of themselves.
  • He who crosses the ocean twice without washing is a dirty double crosser.
  • Heaven sends down its good and evil symbols and wise men act accordingly.
  • I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.
  • If a man be under the influence of anger his conduct will not be correct.
  • If an urn lacks the characteristics of an urn, how can we call it an urn?
  • It’s only in winter that the pine and cypress are known to be evergreens.
  • Of all that Heaven produces and nourishes, there is none so great as man.
  • People with virtue must speak out; People who speak are not all virtuous.
  • The wise escape doubt; the good-hearted, trouble; the bold, apprehension.
  • When three persons work together, each can be the teacher in some aspects
  • Which demands a lot of himself and some others, will be free from hatred.
  • Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
  • Everyone calls his son his son, whether he has talents or has not talents.
  • Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.
  • How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them!
  • If one is guided by profit in one’s actions, one will incur much ill will.
  • To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.
  • Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
  • You will never know how sharp a sword is unless it’s drawn from its sheath
  • Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with virtue.
  • Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! Virtue is at hand.
  • It is moral cowardice to leave undone what one perceives to be right to do.
  • It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.
  • Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.
  • The Man who says he can, and the man who says he can not.. Are both correct
  • The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
  • Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
  • Who keeps the old akindle and adds new knowledge is fitted to be a teacher.
  • A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician.
  • Even four harnessed horses cannot bring imprudent words back into the mouth.
  • He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
  • I live in a very small house, but my windows look out on a very large world.
  • If my soul is not engaged in worship, it is even as though I worshipped not.
  • It doesn’t make a difference how gradually you go so long as you don’t stop.
  • Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.
  • The really faithful lover of learning holds fast to the Good Way till death.
  • The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?
  • Those who break down the dikes will themselves be drowned in the inundation.
  • To study and at times practice what one has learned, is this not a pleasure?
  • We are so busy doing the urgent that we don’t have time to do the important.
  • A good man does not make a warrior, just as good steel does not go for nails.
  • How should I know anything about another world when I know so little of this?
  • I transmit but do not create. I place my trust in the teachings of antiquity.
  • If I am virtuous and worthy, for whom should I not maintain a proper concern?
  • It is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man.
  • Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • The gentleman sees what is right while the small man sees what is profitable.
  • When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.
  • When there are duties to perform [true] servants and sons serve their labors.
  • At fifteen my mind was directed to study, and at thirty I knew where to stand.
  • In speaking, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning.
  • The superior man in regard to his speech is anxious that it should be sincere.
  • To know what is the right thing to do and not do it is the greatest cowardice.
  • We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living
  • Wisdom is worried for being slow in its speech and expeditious in its actions.
  • A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.
  • A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders.
  • Better than the one who knows what is right is the one who loves what is right.
  • Ceremonies are the first thing to be attended to in the practice of government.
  • Clever talk and domineering manner have little to with being a Man at His Best.
  • If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.
  • It is better to light one small candle of gratitude than to curse the darkness.
  • Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
  • Reviewing what you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher.
  • The contrived language and the flattering attitude rarely come with the virtue.
  • The great man is many-minded, and not one-sided. The common man is the reverse.
  • The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come.
  • You must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
  • Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.
  • Gentlemen should not waste their time on trivial games — they should play go[3]
  • Happiness does not consist in having what you want, but in wanting what you have
  • He who cannot describe the problem will never find the solution to that problem.
  • He who flatters a man is his enemy. he who tells him of his faults is his maker.
  • If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
  • If you don’t know the life yet, how could be possible for you to know the death?
  • Knowledge without practice is useless. Practice without knowledge is dangerous.
  • Only by perfect virtue can the perfect path, in all its courses, be made a fact.
  • The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
  • A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.
  • A man who reviews the old so as to find out the new is qualified to teach others.
  • Give a man a fish, feed home for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed for a lifetime.
  • If I do not participate in the sacrifice, it is as if I did not sacrifice at all.
  • Love makes a spot beautiful: who chooses not to dwell in love, has he got wisdom?
  • Those who are firm, enduring, simple and unpretentious are the nearest to virtue.
  • To know everything is to know nothing, but to know nothing is to know everything.
  • To know is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
  • What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
  • If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.
  • If a superior man abandon virtue, how can he fulfil the requirements of that name?
  • Justice is like the north star, which is fixed, and all the rest revolve about it.
  • Rather than caring about whether or not you are known, strive to be worth knowing.
  • There is nobody but eats and drinks. But they are few who can distinguish flavors.
  • To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.
  • What you know, you know, what you don’t know, you don’t know. This is true wisdom.
  • Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.
  • If I hear the way of truth in the morning, I am content even to die in the evening.
  • Learn, as if never overtaking your object, and yet as if apprehensive of losing it.
  • Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.
  • The Superior Man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.
  • There is no body but eats and drinks. But they are few who can distinguish flavors.
  • Be aroused by poetry; structure yourself with propriety, refine yourself with music.
  • Character is the backbone of our human culture. Music is the flowering of character.
  • Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.
  • In your promises cleave to what is right, And you will be able to fulfill your word.
  • Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.
  • The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.
  • There are three unfilial acts: the greatest of these is the failure to produce sons.
  • Waste begets self-will; thrift begets meanness: but better be mean than self-willed.
  • When music and courtesy are better understood and appreciated, there will be no war.
  • A lack of patience in trifling matters might lead to the disruption of great project.
  • Don’t worry that other people don’t know you; worry that you don’t know other people.
  • If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret.
  • The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.
  • To learn and from time to time to apply what one has learned – isn’t that a pleasure?
  • To learn without thinking is labour in vain, to think without learning is desolation.
  • A disciple having asked for a definition of charity, the Master said LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
  • A ruthless man extends his ruthlessness from those he does not love to those he loves.
  • Only after Winter comes do we know that the pine and the cypress are the last to fade.
  • Past scholars studied to improve themselves; Today’s scholars study to impress others.
  • Some may study side by side, and yet be asunder when they come to the logic of things.
  • The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
  • Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.
  • A man should practice what he preaches, but a man should also preach what he practices.
  • Even if people do not know what real kindness is, they nonetheless have it within them.
  • I have yet to meet a man as fond of high moral conduct as he is of outward appearances.
  • It cannot be when the root is neglected that what springs from it will be well ordered.
  • Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it
  • Sincerity is the end and beginning of things; without sincerity there would be nothing.
  • The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path.
  • The virtuous man is driven by responsibility, the non-virtuous man is driven by profit.
  • The wise are free from perplexities; the virtuous from anxiety; and the bold from fear.
  • Trying to satisfy one’s desires with possessions is like putting out a fire with straw.
  • A good man will certainly also possess courage; but a brave man is not necessarily good.
  • A man who has committed a mistake and does not correct it is committing another mistake.
  • By gaining the people, the kingdom is gained; by losing the people, the kingdom is lost.
  • Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
  • Don’t worry about being acknowledged by others; worry about failing to acknowledge them.
  • Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
  • The demands that a great man makes are on himself; those of a petty man are upon others.
  • The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
  • There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life -reciprocity.
  • A man may not transgress the bounds of major morals, but may make errors in minor morals.
  • Expect much from yourself and little from others and you will avoid incurring resentments
  • Not feeling compassion for a stranger is like not feeling when one’s foot has caught fire
  • To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content.
  • When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.
  • Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.
  • If you did not do so for the sake of riches,You must have done so for the sake of novelty.
  • Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.
  • Be loyal and trustworthy. Do not befriend anyone who is lower than yourself in this regard.
  • Don’t worry if people don’t recognize your merits; worry that you may not recognize theirs.
  • For benefits return benefits; for injuries return justice without any admixture of revenge.
  • Study as though you cannot catch up to it, and as though you fear you are going to lose it.
  • The highest kind of man is the one who does before talking and practices what he professes.
  • Do not worry if others do not understand you. Instead worry if you do not understand others.
  • Man is born with uprightness. If one loses it, he will be lucky if he escapes with his life.
  • Not knowing life, how can we know death? Why talk of spirits when you do not understand men?
  • One who will study for three years. Without thought of reward. Would be hard indeed to find.
  • Reading without thinking will confuse you.Thinking without reading will place you in danger.
  • The people may be made to follow a path of action but they may not be made to understand it.
  • The superior person gathers his weapons together in order to provide against the unforeseen.
  • The true gentleman does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches.
  • Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
  • An orchid in a deep forest sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it.
  • Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving
  • The injury of prodigality leads to this, that he who will not economize will have to agonize.
  • There are not the weeds the ones that drown the good seed, but the negligence of the peasant.
  • When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?
  • You judge yourself by what you think you can achieve, others judge you by what have achieved.
  • The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.
  • A good man is not mine to see. Could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.
  • A man is great not because he hasn’t failed; a man is great because failure hasn’t stopped him.
  • Cultivated people foster what is good in others, not what is bad. Petty people do the opposite.
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
  • The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.
  • The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
  • The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.
  • When young, beware of fighting; when strong, beware of sex; and when old, beware of possession.
  • Among the appliances to transform the people, sound and appearances are but trivial
  • Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough.
  • Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself.
  • I am not bothered by the fact that I am not understood. I am bothered when I do not know others.
  • Men of principle are sure to be bold, but those who are bold may not always be men of principle.
  • The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.
  • The superior man sets his person at rest before he moves; he composes his mind before he speaks.
  • Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may over look it.
  • To be in one’s own heart in kindly sympathy with all things; this is the nature of righteousness
  • To know it is not as good as to love it, and to love it is not as good as to take delight in it.
  • When you see a good man, think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your own heart.
  • A father’s and a mother’s age must be borne in mind; with joy on the one hand, fear on the other.
  • Exemplary persons are steadfast in the face of adversity, while petty persons are engulfed by it.
  • Let a man be stimulated by poetry, established by the rules of propriety, and perfected by music.
  • Many seek happiness higher than men; others beneath him. But happiness is the same height as man.
  • Music is the one thing in which there is no use trying to deceive others or make false pretenses.
  • Shall I tell you what knowledge is? It is to know both what one knows and what one does not know.
  • The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.
  • To find the Tao, there is nowhere you need to search. If it is not inside you, it is not the Tao.
  • To prefer it is better than to only know it. To delight in it is better than merely to prefer it.
  • When nature exceeds culture, we have the rustic. When culture exceeds nature, we have the pedant.
  • A wise man seeks by music to strengthen his soul: the thoughtless one uses it to stifle his fears.
  • Be versed in ancient lore, and familiarize yourself with the modern; then may you become teachers.
  • Being strong does not mean that you never fall down, but that whenever you fall, you get up again.
  • In antiquity men studied for their own sake; nowadays men study for the sake of impressing others.
  • Knowing something is not as good as liking it. Liking something is not as good as rejoicing in it.
  • The demands that good people make are upon themselves; Those that bad people make are upon others.
  • The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
  • The great mountain must collapse, the mighty beam must break and the wise man wither like a plant.
  • The life of a man is–his rectitude. Life without it–such may you have the good fortune to avoid!
  • The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.
  • When you are ignorant about something, to know that you are ignorant about it – that is knowledge.
  • Confucius say… politician is one who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.
  • Do not answer the person whose questions are vile. Do not question a person whose answers are vile.
  • Look for an occupation that you like, and you will not need to labor for a single day in your life.
  • Study as if you have not reached your goal – hold it as if you were afraid of losing what you have.
  • The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.
  • The superior person is calm and composed; the lesser person is continuously worried and distressed.
  • There is nothing impossible in all the world except that the heart of man is wanting in resolution.
  • Don’t be concerned that you have no position; be concerned how you may fit yourself to occupy one. .
  • I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me;I will be concerned at my own want of ability.
  • Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
  • The general of a large army may be defeated, but you cannot defeat the determined mind of a peasant.
  • The virtuous will be sure to speak uprightly; but those whose speech is upright may not be virtuous.
  • Things that are done, it is needless to speak about … things that are past, it is needless to blame.
  • To govern is to correct. If you set an example by being correct, who would dare to remain incorrect?
  • We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves
  • He who is harmony with Nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking.
  • If you reflect within yourself and find nothing to be ashamed of, how could you have anxiety or fear.
  • The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.
  • The Superior Man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.
  • The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall today be uppermost.
  • When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
  • Don’t be concerned about others not appreciating you. Be concerned about your not appreciating others.
  • The archer who misses his mark does not blame the target. He stops, corrects himself and shoots again.
  • The Master was entirely free from four things: prejudice, foregone conclusions, obstinacy, and egoism.
  • Clever talk can confound the workings of virtue, just as small impatiences can confound great projects.
  • Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.
  • A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?
  • Gentlemen cherish worth; the vulgar cherish dirt. Gentlemen trust in justice; the vulgar trust in favor.
  • Slater soaks into the mind as water into low and marshy places, where it becomes stagnant and offensive.
  • As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.
  • The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.
  • The superior man is universally minded and no partisan. The inferior man is a partisan and not universal.
  • Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established
  • You can successfully force people to follow a certain course, but you cannot force them to understand it.
  • A good man does not worry about not being known by others, but rather is concerned about not knowing them.
  • Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
  • Not easily found is the man who, after three years’ study, has failed to come upon some fruit of his toil.
  • A blemish may be removed from a diamond by careful polishing, but evil words once spoken cannot be effaced.
  • Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.
  • It is the obligation of the ruler to continually renew himself in order to renew the people by his example.
  • Make faithfulness and truth thy masters: have no friends unlike thyself: be not ashamed to mend thy faults.
  • There is good government when those who are near are made happy, and when those who are afar are attracted.
  • Wisdom, humanity & courage, these three are universal virtues. The way by which they are practiced are one.
  • Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.
  • Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself.
  • There is the love of knowing without the love of learning; the beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind.
  • A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. If you are generous, you will gain everything.
  • If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.
  • The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.”
  • In old days men studied for the sake of self-improvement; nowadays men study in order to impress other people.
  • Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few.
  • The main object of conciliation lies in reaching a solution to a case based upon morals and with a warm heart.
  • The superior man does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.
  • Wouldst thou know if a people be well governed, or if its laws be good or bad, examine the music it practices.
  • Ask yourself constantly, “What is the right thing to do?” Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.
  • If I am building a mountain and stop before the last basketful of earth is placed on the summit, I have failed.
  • The people may be put into the way they should go, though they may not be put into the way of understanding it.
  • Without that innate sense of human worth, a man cannot long endure adversity, nor can he long enjoy prosperity.
  • Does Heaven ever speak? The four seasons come and go, and all creatures thrive and grow. Does Heaven ever speak!
  • He who requires much from himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the object of resentment.
  • Men of loftier mind manifest themselves in their equitable dealings; small-minded men in their going after gain.
  • When you see a good man, try to emulate his example, and when you see a bad man, search yourself for his faults.
  • A gentleman can withstand hardships; it is only the small man who, when submitted to them, is swept off his feet.
  • If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others.
  • In a district of ten families, there must be someone as honorable and sincere as I, but none as fond of learning.
  • It is when those who are not strong enough have made some moderate amount of progress that they fail and give up.
  • Rarely do we meet with the right feeling due from one man to another where there is fine speech and studied mien.
  • When superiors are fond of showing their humanity, inferiors try to outstrip one another in their practice of it.
  • By the ruler’s cultivation of his own character there is set up the example of the course which all should pursue.
  • How transcendent is the virtue of the middle conduct! Rare for a long time has been its practice among the people.
  • Possessed of courage but devoid of morality, a superior man will make trouble while a small man will be a brigand.
  • Tell people – and they may forget… show them – they may remember…  but involve them and they will understand.
  • The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.
  • The superior man is anxious lest he should not get the truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him.
  • When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together.
  • Even if I could, I would not exahnge their virtues for my own. And that is why they are intent on learning from me.
  • Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. To see it a person only needs to imagine how it could be worse.
  • The Master said, If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.
  • The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.
  • Know what you know and know that you don’t know what you don’t know ‚Äî that is the characteristic of one who knows.
  • Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.
  • Man is born for uprightness. If a man lose his uprightness and yet live, his escape from death is mere good fortune.
  • The Way is not for, but from, man; if we take the Way as something superhuman, beyond man, this is not the real Way.
  • Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.
  • Who expects to be able to go out of a house except by the door? How is it then that no one follows this Way of ours?
  • He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it.
  • If a man has no humaneness what can his propriety be like? If a man has no humaneness what can his happiness be like?
  • If a man is not good, what has he to do with the rules of propriety? If he is not good, what has he to do with music?
  • In vain I have looked for a single man capable of seeing his own faults and bringing the charge home against himself.
  • See a person’s means … Observe his motives. Examine that in which he rests. How can a person conceal his character?
  • To take what you know for what you know, and what you do not know for what you do not know, that is knowledge indeed.
  • When the multitude detests a man, inquiry is necessary; when the multitude likes a man, inquiry is equally necessary.
  • When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.
  • Wisdom delights in water; love delights in hills. Wisdom is stirring; love is quiet. Wisdom is merry; love grows old.
  • Let every man consider virtue as what devolves on himself. He may not yield the performance of it even to his teacher.
  • Love should start from people close to us, then be extended to other people, to strangers, and eventually to the world
  • See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful in acting on the rest and your causes for regret will be few.
  • The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
  • The gentleman is calm and at ease. The gentleman is dignified but not proud; the small man is proud but not dignified.
  • The Master said, The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.
  • The Three Armies can be deprived of their commanding officer, but even a common man cannot be deprived of his purpose.
  • There is one single thread binding my way together…the way of the Master consists in doing one’s best…that is all.
  • A person of character takes as much trouble to discover what is right as the lesser men take to discover what will pay.
  • Excessive (population) growth may reduce output per worker, repress levels of living for the masses and engender strife
  • If I hold up one corner of a square and the student cannot workout the other three for himself, I won’t go any further.
  • If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?
  • In a State, pecuniary gain is not to be considered to be prosperity, but its prosperity will be found in righteousness.
  • The person who is not strong enough gives up at the halfway point – but you are limiting yourself before even starting.
  • To know that one knows what one knows, and to know that one doesn’t know what one doesn’t know, there lies true wisdom.
  • Being in humaneness is good. If we select other goodness and thus are far apart from humaneness, how can we be the wise?
  • Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
  • He who needs only coarse food, water and drink, and as pillow his folded arms will find happiness without further search.
  • I do not want a friend who smiles when I smile, who weeps when I weep, for my shadow in the pool can do better than that.
  • In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.
  • At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.
  • Care not for want of place; care for thy readiness to fill one. Care not for being unknown, but seek to be worthy of note.
  • If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be ‘thoughtfulness.
  • The superior man is easy to serve, but difficult to please … The inferior man is difficult to serve, but easy to please.
  • They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.
  • those who understands is not better than those who appreciates, those who appreciates is not better than those who enjoys.
  • A superior man in dealing with the world is not for anything or against anything. He follows righteousness as the standard.
  • The man of noble mind seeks to achieve the good in others and not their evil. The little-minded man is the reverse of this.
  • There are three things against which the wise man guards: lust when young, quarrels when strong, and covetousness when old.
  • Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.
  • In his dealings with the world, the gentleman is not invariably for or against anything. He is on the side of what is moral.
  • Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.
  • The commander of the forces of a large State may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.
  • Unify your attention. Do not listen with your ears, but with your mind. Do not listen with your mind but with your essence.
  • Watch their actions, observe their motives, examine wherein they dwell content; won’t you know what kind of person they are?
  • A gentleman does not promote a man on account of what he says; nor does he reject sayings, because the speaker is what he is.
  • I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.
  • The superior person is in harmony, but does not follow the crowd. The lesser person follows the crowd, but is not in harmony.
  • A gentleman can see a question from all sides without bias. The small man is biased and can see a question only from one side.
  • If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.
  • The one who was born a genius can’t win against the one who tries, and the one who tries can’t win against the one who enjoys.
  • When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.
  • Do not unto another that you would hot have him do unto you. Thou needest this law alone. It is the foundation of all the rest.
  • With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bent arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of all these things.
  • Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface.
  • Is any one able for one day to apply his strength to virtue? I have not seen the case in which his strength would be sufficient.
  • The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.
  • A good man regards the root; he fixes the root, and ail else flows out of it. The root is filial piety; the fruit brotherly love.
  • He who is really good can never be unhappy. He who is really wise can never be perplexed. He who is really brave is never afraid.
  • If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
  • The most beautiful sight in the world is a little child going confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way.
  • As I came not into life with any knowledge of it, and as my likings are for what is old, I busy myself in seeking knowledge there.
  • One who has accumulated virtue will certainly also possess eloquence; but he who has eloquence doe not necessarily possess virtue.
  • Take an illustration from the making of a hill. A simple basketful is wanting to complete it, and the work stops. So I stop short.
  • It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.
  • What the great learning teaches, is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.
  • If doing what ought to be done be made the first business and success a secondary consideration–is not this the way to exalt virtue?
  • In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
  • While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve spirits of the dead…While you do not know life, how can you know about death
  • From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.
  • He Who Knows And Knows That He Knows Is A Wise Man – Follow Him; He Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He Knows Not Is A Fool – Shun Him
  • I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue would esteem nothing above it.
  • Rate the task above the prize; will not the mind be raised? Fight thine own faults, not the faults of others; will not evil be mended?
  • That a man lives is because he is straight. That a man who dupes others survives is because he has been fortunate enough to be spared.
  • The superior man, even when he is not moving, has a feeling of reverence, and while he speaks not, he has the feeling of truthfulness.
  • A superior man may be made to go to the well, but he cannot be made to go down into it. He may be imposed upon, but he cannot be fooled.
  • It was by music that the ancient kings gave elegant expression to their joy. By their armies and axes they gave the same to their anger.
  • The good man does not grieve that other people do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.
  • The Master said, I set my heart on the Way, base myself on virtue, lean upon benevolence for support and take my recreation in the arts.
  • When I am with others, they are my teachers. I can select their good points and follow them, and select their bad points and avoid them.
  • When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.
  • Just as lavishness leads easily to presumption, so does frugality to meanness. But meanness is a far less serious fault than presumption.
  • The superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them, and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops.
  • When you locate good in yourself, approve of it with determination. When you locate evil in yourself, despise it as something detestable.
  • For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We should be careful indeed what we say.
  • He who keeps danger in mind, is he who will rest safe in his seat; he who keeps ruin in mind, is he who will preserve his interests secure.
  • If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.
  • It is social good feeling that gives charm to a neighborhood. And where is the wisdom of those who choose an abode where it does not abide?
  • To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence; and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude.
  • I used to take on trust a man’s deeds after having listened to his words. Now having listened to a man’s words I go on to observe his deeds.
  • Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone might be looking. Hear and you forget, see and you remember, do and you understand.
  • If language is not rectified, words do not correspond to meaning, and if words do not correspond to meaning, our deeds cannot be accomplished.
  • If you yourself desire establishment, then help others to get establishment; if you yourself want success, then help others to attain success.
  • The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.
  • In the Book of Poetry there are three hundred poems, but the meaning of all of them may be put in a single sentence: Have no debasing thoughts.
  • The wise man admires water, the kind man admires mountains. The wise man moves, the kind man rests. The wise man is happy, the kind man is firm.
  • To be excellent when engaged in administration is to be like the North Star. As it remains in its one position, all the other stars surround it.
  • A knight whose heart is set upon the Way, but who is ashamed of wearing shabby clothes and eating coarse food, is not worth calling into counsel.
  • I used to listen to what others said, and expect them to act accordingly. But nowadays, I listen to what they say, and then observe what they do.
  • If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer.
  • Of neighborhoods, benevolence is the most beautiful. How can the man be considered wise who when he had the choice does not settle in benevolence.
  • The faults of a superior man are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.
  • When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
  • When a nation or family is about to flourish, there are sure to be happy omens; and when it is about to perish, there are sure to be unlucky omens.
  • But if you do not have the Tao yourself, what business have you spending your time in vain efforts to bring corrupt politicians into the right path?
  • If I give a student one-fourth of what he should know, I expect him to get the other three-fourths himself, otherwise I do not want him as a student.
  • If Language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant. If what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done, remains undone.
  • Let our reason, and not our senses, be the rule of our conduct; for reason will teach us to think wisely, to speak prudently, and to behave worthily.
  • The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.
  • The gentleman calls attention to the good points in others; he does not call attention to their defects. The small man does just the reverse of this.
  • The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.
  • The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
  • To the average man, and those above average, it is possible to discourse on higher subjects; to those from the average downwards, it is not possible.
  • Base yourself in loyalty and trust. Don’t be companion with those who are not your moral equal. When you make a mistake, don’t hesitate to correct it.
  • Things have their roots and branches. Affairs have their beginnings and their ends. To know what is first and what is last will lead one near the Way.
  • He who remembers from day to day what he has yet to learn, and from month to month what he has learned already, may be said to have a love of learning.
  • If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame.
  • The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.
  • The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied: which one of these things belongs to me?
  • The superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.
  • Do not worry about not holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role. Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.
  • If one learns from others but does not think, one is still at a loss. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one is in peril.
  • When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.
  • A man of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish himself, finds a foothold for others and who, in desiring attaining himself, helps others to attain.
  • Of course you want to be rich and famous. It’s natural. Wealth and fame are what every man desires. The question is: What are you willing to trade for it?
  • The wise man delights in water, the Good man delights in mountains. For the wise move; but the Good stay still.  The wise are happy; but the good secure.
  • When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
  • He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place when all the stars are rotating about it.
  • The Master said, If out of the three hundred songs I had to take one phrase to cover all my teachings, I would say ‘Let there be no evil in your thoughts.’
  • Women and people of low birth are very hard to deal with. If you are friendly to them, they get out of hand, and if you keep your distance, they resent it.
  • The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.
  • There are cases in which the blade springs, but the plant does not go on to flower. There are cases where it flowers, but no fruit is subsequently produced.
  • There are three marks of a superior man: being virtuous, he is free from anxiety; being wise, he is free from perplexity; being brave, he is free from fear.
  • There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth … lust. When he is strong … quarrelsomeness.   When he is old … covetousness.
  • To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
  • If one learns from others, but does not think, one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril.
  • The man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.
  • The master said, ‘Quietly to store up knowledge in my mind, to learn without flagging, to teach without growing weary, these present me with no difficulties.’
  • Look closely into his aims, observe the means by which he pursues them, discover what brings him content – and can the man’s real worth remain hidden from you?
  • Great is the man who can overcome the world, but greater still is the man who can overcome himself, for he will have the world spinning on the palm of his hand.
  • To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge. To practice with vigor is to be near to magnanimity. To possess the feeling of shame is to be near to energy.
  • There are those men who say to repay evil with kindness. But I say, how then are we to repay kindness? Repay kindness with kindness, but repay evil with justice.
  • A man who lives a virtuous life and in the pursuit of knowledge, may have great joy with only coarse rice to eat, water to drink, and his bended arm for a pillow.
  • If I cannot get men who steer a middle course to associate with, I would far rather have the impetuous and hasty. For the impetuous at any rate assert themselves.
  • When you have become one with the Great Universal, you will have no partiality, and when you are part of the process of transformation, you will have no rigidity.
  • We can know a person by observing his behaviour, understanding the reasons for his actions and ascertaining his intentions. If we do this, how can we not know him?
  • A reasonable man adjusts himself to the world. An unreasonable man expects the world to adjust itself to him. Therefore all progress is made by unreasonable people.
  • The Path is not far from man. When men try to pursue a course, which is far from the common indications of consciousness, this course cannot be considered The Path.
  • We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression; the heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any
  • The superior man, extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, may thus likewise not overstep what is right.
  • The way of Heaven and Earth may be completely declared in one sentence: They are without any doubleness, and so they produce things in a manner that is unfathomable.
  • When a man is guided by the principles of reciprocity and consciousness, he is not far from the moral law. Whatever you don’t wish for yourself don’t do unto others.
  • By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
  • Coarse rice to eat, water to drink, my bended arm for a pillow – therein is happiness. Wealth and rank attained through immoral means are nothing but drifting clouds.
  • The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in hills. The wise are active; the virtuous are tranquil. The wise are joyful; the virtuous are long-lived.
  • He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.
  • It is goodness that gives to a neighborhood its beauty. One who is free to choose, yet does not prefer to dwell among the good – how can he be accorded the name of wise?
  • Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.
  • No lake so still but it has its wave. No circle so perfect but that it has its blur. I would change things for you if I could; As I can’t you must take them as they are.
  • The superior man… does not set his mind either for or against anything, he will pursue whatever is right. The superior man thinks of virtue, the common man of comfort.
  • There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute. Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.
  • Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.
  • Although your father and mother are dead, if you propose to yourself any good work, only reflect how it will make their names illustrious, and your purpose will be fixed.
  • Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
  • There are three degrees of filial piety. The highest is being a credit to our parents, the second is not disgracing them; the lowest is being able simply to support them.
  • When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.
  • Reviewing the day’s lessons. Isn’t it joyful? Friends come from far. Isn’t it delightful? One has never been angry at other’s misunderstanding. Isn’t he a respectable man?
  • The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, unregarded by the world, he feels no regret – It is only the sage who is able for this.
  • There may be men who act without understanding why. I do not. To listen much, pick out the good and follow it; to see much and ponder it: this comes next to understanding.
  • Virtue is more to a man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.
  • All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by the right name. When things are properly identified, they fall into natural categories and understanding becomes orderly.
  • It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
  • If proper in their own conduct, what difficulty would they have in governing? But if not able to be proper in their own conduct, how can they demand such conduct from others?
  • Let a ruler base his government upon virtuous principles, and he will be like the pole-star, which remains steadfast in its place, while all the host of stars turn towards it
  • To give oneself ernestly to securing righteousness and justice among the people, and while respecting the gods and demons, to keep aloof from them, that may be called wisdom.
  • Exemplary people concern themselves with virtue, small people concern themselves with territory. The ruling class thinks of punishment, the lower classes hope for benevolence.
  • If there were an honorable way to get rich, I’d do it, even if it meant being a stooge standing around with a whip. But there isn’t an honorable way, so I just do what I like.
  • Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words.
  • When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are something to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honors are something to be ashamed of.
  • The superior man undergoes three changes. Looked at from a distance, he appears stern; when approached, he is mild; when he is heard to speak, his language is firm and decided.
  • In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself.
  • Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.
  • Not to converse with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To converse with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words.
  • The ideal teacher guides his students but does not pull them along; he urges them to go forward and does not suppress them; he opens the way but does not take them to the place.
  • The Master said, true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.
  • The determined scholar and the man of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue. They will even sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue complete.
  • While the gentleman cherishes benign rule, the small man cherishes his native land. While the gentleman cherishes a respect for the law, the small man cherishes generous treatment.
  • Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.
  • The superior man will watch over himself when he is alone. He examines his heart that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause of dissatisfaction with himself.
  • If names are not correct, then language is not in accord with the truth of things. If language is not in accord with the truth of things, then affairs cannot be carried out successfully.
  • If one leads them with administrative measures and uses punishments to make them conform, the people will be evasive, but if one leads them with virtue, they will come up to expectations.
  • There are three things to beware of through life: when a man is young, let him beware of his appetites; when he is middle-aged, of his passions; and when old, of covetousness, especially.
  • Is there any one maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one’s whole life? Surely the maxim of loving kindness is such: Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you.
  • Guide the people by law, subdue them by punishment; they may shun crime, but will be void of shame. Guide them by example, subdue them by courtesy; they will learn shame, and come to be good.
  • The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.
  • Let there be three men walking together: from that number I should be sure to find my instructors; for what is good in them I should choose out and follow, and what is not good I should modify.
  • The superior man, while his parents are alive, reverently nourishes them; and, when they are dead, reverently sacrifices to them. His thought to the end of his life is how not to disgrace them.
  • To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. When you say something, say what you know. When you don’t know something, say you don’t know. That is knowledge.
  • To rein a kingdom efficiently it is necessary, before all, to put into good order the family. It’s impossible for a man who doesn’t know how to lead his own family to know how to lead a country.
  • If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
  • Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known.
  • The Master said of Gong Yechang, He is marriageable. Although he was once imprisoned and branded as a criminal, he was in fact innocent of any crime. The Master gave him his daughter in marriage.
  • The Superior Man has nothing to compete for. But if he must compete, he does it in an archery match, wherein he ascends to his position, bowing in deference. Descending, he drinks the ritual cup.
  • Without goodness a man cannot endure adversity for long, nor can he enjoy prosperity for long. The good man is naturally at ease with goodness. The wise man cultivates goodness for its advantage.
  • If you would govern a state of a thousand chariots (a small-to-middle-size state), you must pay strict attention to business, be true to your word, be economical in expenditure and love the people.
  • One who is by nature daring and is suffering from poverty will not long be law-abiding. Indeed, any men, save those that are truly good, if their sufferings are very great, will be likely to rebel.
  • Heaven, in the production of things, is sure to be bountiful to them according to their qualities. Hence the tree that is flourishing, it nourishes, while that which is ready to fall, it overthrows.
  • Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.
  • Those whose humanity is large, while their exhibition of righteousness is slight, are loved and not honoured. Those whose righteousness is large and their humanity slight are honoured and not loved.
  • To acknowledge our faults when we are blamed, is modesty; to discover them to one’s friends in ingenuousness, is confidence; but to preach them to all the world, if one does not take care, is pride.
  • Tsze-Kung asked, Is there one word with which to act in accordance throughout a lifetime? The Master said, Is not reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
  • The higher type of man clings to virtue, the lower type of man clings to material comfort. The higher type of man cherishes justice, the lower type of man cherishes the hope of favors to be received.
  • The gentleman holds justice to be of highest importance. If a gentleman has courage but neglects justice, he becomes insurgent. If an inferior man has courage but neglects justice, he becomes a thief.
  • The young should be dutiful at home, modest abroad, careful and true, overflowing in kindness for all, but in brotherhood with love. And if they have strength to spare they should spend it on the arts.
  • Love thy neighbor as thyself: Do not do to others what thou wouldst not wish be done to thyself: Forgive injuries. Forgive thy enemy, be reconciled to him, give him assistance, invoke God in his behalf.
  • With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.
  • I know how the birds fly, how the fishes swim, how animals run. But there is the Dragon. I cannot tell how it mounts on the winds through the clouds and flies through heaven. Today I have seen the Dragon.
  • In a hamlet of ten households, there are bound to be those who are my equal in doing their best for others and in being trustworthy in what they say, but they are unlikely to be as eager to learn as I am.
  • A gentleman considers justice to be essential in everything. He practices it according to the principles of propriety. He brings it forth in modesty and faithfully completes it. This is indeed a gentleman.
  • First there must be order and harmony within your own mind. Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kingdom. Only then can you have peace and harmony.
  • A man should demand much from himself, but little from others. When you meet a man of worth, think how you may attain to his excellence. When you meet an unworthy one, then look within and examine yourself.
  • I daily examine myself on three points: In planning for others, have I failed in conscientiousness? In intercourse with friends, have I been insincere? And have I failed to practice what I have been taught?
  • To study and constantly, is this not a pleasure? To have friends come from far away places, is this not a joy? If people do not recognize your worth, but this does not worry you, are you not a true gentleman?
  • Do not wish for quick results, nor look for small advantages. If you seek quick results, you will not reach the ultimate goal. If you are led astray by small advantages, you will never accomplish great things.
  • If the search for riches were sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with a whip in my hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love.
  • When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path. What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others.
  • Only one who bursts with enthusiasm do I instruct; Only one who bubbles with excitement do I enlighten. If I hold up one corner and you do not come back to me with the other three, I do not continue the lesson.
  • It is the way of the superior man to prefer the concealment of his virtue, while it daily becomes more illustrious, and it is the way of the mean man to seek notoriety, while he daily goes more and more to ruin.
  • Charity is that rational and constant affection which makes us sacrifice ourselves to the human race, as if we were united with it, so as to form one individual, partaking equally in its adversity and prosperity.
  • These are the four abuses: desire to succeed in order to make oneself famous; taking credit for the labors of others; refusal to correct one’s errors despite advice; refusal to change one’s ideas despite warnings.
  • Because the newer methods of treatment are good, it does not follow that the old ones were bad: for if our honorable and worshipful ancestors had not recovered from their ailments, you and I would not be here today.
  • First and foremost, be faithful to your superiors, keep all promises, refuse the friendship of all who are not like you; and if you have made a mistake, do not be afraid of admitting the fact and amending your ways.
  • How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them! We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.
  • Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?
  • Among us, in our part of the country, those who are upright are different from this. The father conceals the misconduct of the son, and the son conceals the misconduct of the father. Uprightness is to be found in this.
  • The way of the superior man may be compared to what takes place in traveling, when to go to a distance we must first traverse the space that is near, and in ascending a height, when we must begin from the lower ground.
  • Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.
  • When in a state of security, he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.
  • He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger… Men of superior mind busy themselves first getting at the root of things; when they succeed, the right course is open to them.
  • The gods should certainly be revered, but kept at a distance… . The way is not beyond man; he who creates a way outside of man cannot make it a true way. A good man is content with changing man, and that is enough for him.
  • Yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth,  good and evil…the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe.
  • The man who in view of gain thinks of righteousness; who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends – such a man may be reckoned a complete man.
  • What you dislike in your superiors, avoid doing to your inferiors. What you dislike in your inferiors, avoid doing when working for your superiors. What you hate in those who are in front of you, do not do to those behind you.
  • The failure to cultivate virtue, the failure to examine and analyze what I have learned, the inability to move toward righteousness after being shown the way, the inability to correct my faults-these are the causes of my grief.
  • Friendship with the upright, with the truthful and with the well informed is beneficial. Friendship with those who flatter, with those who are meek and who compromise with principles, and with those who talk cleverly is harmful.
  • If a man is respectful, he will not be treated with insolence. If he is tolerant he will win the multitude. If he is trustworthy in word his fellow men will entrust him with responsibility. If he is quick he will achieve results.
  • When a person should be spoken with, and you don’t speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn’t be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your breath. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their breath.
  • The superior person tries to promote music as a means to the perfection of human culture. When such music prevails, and people’s minds are led towards the right ideals and aspirations, we may see the appearance of a great nation.
  • At 15 I set my heart on learning; At 30 I firmly took my stand; At 40 I had no delusions; At 50 I knew the Mandate of Heaven; At 60 my ear was attuned; At 70 I followed my heart’s desire without overstepping the boundaries of right.
  • The Master said, what a worthy man was Yan Hui! Living in a narrow alley, subsisting upon meager bits of rice and water‚ other people could not have borne such hardship, and yet it never spoiled Hui’s joy. What a worthy man was Hui!
  • The superior man does not mind being in office; all he minds about is whether he has qualities that entitle him to office. He does not mind failing to get recognition; he is too busy doing the things that entitle him to recognition.
  • At fifteen, my mind was bent on learning. At thirty, I stood firm. At forty, I had no doubts. At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven. At sixty, my ear was receptive to truth. At seventy, I could follow my heart’s desires without sin.
  • As in the case of making a mound, if, before the very last basketful, I stop, then I shall have stopped. As in the case of leveling the ground, if, though tipping only one basketful, I am going forward, then I shall be making progress.
  • When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don’t distance yourself from them. Work without complaining.
  • The way which the superior man pursues, reaches wide and far, and yet is secret. Common men and women, however ignorant, may intermeddle with the knowledge of it; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage does not know.
  • Wealth and rank are what men desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed. Poverty and obscurity are what men detest; but unless prosperity be brought about in the right way, they are not to be abandoned.
  • To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
  • A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present? If he reach the age of forty or fifty, and has not made himself heard of, then indeed he will not be worth being regarded with respect.
  • At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without transgressing the norm.
  • The superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself. That wherein the superior man cannot be equaled is simply this — his work which other men cannot see.
  • In dealing with the dead, if we treat them as if they were entirely dead, that would show a want of affection and should not be done; or, if we treat them as if they were entirely alive, that would show a want of wisdom and should not be done.
  • What Heaven has conferred is called The Nature; an accordance with this nature is called The Path of duty; the regulation of this path is called Instruction. The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path.
  • If you want a man to succeed in the reform of his affairs which are in a deadlock and mess, you must self-evidently first of all tell him how to reform the instrument with which he has to carry out that reform–the instrument, viz, the man himself.
  • Riches and honor are what men desire; but if they arrive at them by improper ways, they should not continue to hold them. Poverty and low estate are what men dislike; but if they arrive at such a condition by improper ways, they should not refuse it.
  • Study the past if you would define the future. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
  • From the loving example of one family a whole State may become loving, and from its courtesies, courteous; while from the ambition and perverseness of the one man the whole State may be thrown into rebellious disorder. Such is the nature of influence.
  • If I were travelling with two partners, one virtuous and one dishonest, both would be useful as teachers. I would perceive what’s good of the first one and I would imitate him whereas I would try to correct in me the defects I may see in the second one.
  • Earnest in practicing the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license.
  • A country of a thousand war-chariots cannot be administered unless the ruler attends strictly to business, punctually observes his promises, is economical in expenditure, loves the people, and uses the labor of the peasantry only at the proper times of year.
  • When a man comes to me, I accept him at his best, not at his worst. Why make so much ado? When a man washes his hands before paying a visit, and you receive him in that clean state, you do not thereby stand surety for his always having been clean in the past.
  • Guide them by edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame. Guide them by virtue, keep them in line with the rites, and they will, besides having a sense of shame, reform themselves.
  • I do not enlighten those who are not eager to learn, nor arouse those who are not anxious to give an explanation themselves. If I have presented one corner of the square and they cannot come back to me with the other three, I should not go over the points again.
  • If a man remembers what is right at the sign of profit, is ready to lay down his life in the face of danger, and does not forget sentiments he has repeated all his life when he has been in straitened circumstances for a long time, he may be said to be a complete man.
  • Riches and honor are what everyone desires, but if they can be gained only by doing evil, they must not be held. Don’t worry about not being in office, worry about qualifying yourself for office.  Don’t worry that no one knows you, but seek to be worthy of being known.
  • If the gentleman is not serious, he will not be respected, and his learning will not be on a firm foundation. He considers loyalty and faithfulness to be fundamental, has no friends who are not like him, and when he has made mistakes, he is not afraid of correcting them.
  • The superior man honors his virtuous nature, and maintains constant inquiry and study, seeking to carry it out to its breadth and greatness, so as to omit none of the more exquisite and minute points which it embraces, and to raise it to its greatest height and brilliancy.
  • Love others as you would love yourself, judge others as you would judge yourself, cherish others as you would cherish yourself. When you wish for others as you wish for yourself and when you protect others as you would protect yourself, that’s when you can say it’s true love.
  • Listen much, keep silent when in doubt, and always take heed of the tongue; thou wilt make few mistakes. See much, beware of pitfalls, and always give heed to thy walk; thou wilt have little to rue. If thy words are seldom wrong, thy deeds leave little to rue, pay will follow.
  • The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this. In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position.
  • The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
  • I saw some piglets suckling their dead mother. After a short while they shuddered and went away. They had sensed that she could no longer see them and that she wasn’t like them any more. What they loved in their mother wasn’t her body, but whatever it was that made her body live.
  • The small man thinks that small acts of goodness are of no benefit, and does not do them; and that small deeds of evil do no harm, and does not refrain from them. Hence, his wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed, and his guilt so great that it cannot be pardoned.
  • The Master said, “To study, and then in a timely fashion to practice what you have learned – is this not satisfying? To have companions arrive from afar – is this not a joy? To remain unrecognized by others and yet remain free of resentment – is this not the mark of the gentleman?”
  • The administration of government lies in getting proper men. Such men are to be got by means of the ruler’s own character. That character is to be cultivated by his treading in the ways of duty. And the treading those ways of duty is to be cultivated by the cherishing of benevolence.
  • If the people are governed by laws and punishment is used to maintain order, they will try to avoid the punishment but have no sense of shame. If they are governed by virtue and rules of propriety are used to maintain order, they will have a sense of shame and will become good as well.
  • Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it.
  • When the Superior Man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to people of the Tao and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can say, ‘he loves learning.’
  • The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.
  • Please stop waiting for a better and more appropriate time to become happy and focus on the moment you live in. Happiness is not an arrival, it is the journey itself. Many people seek for happiness above the height of human beings, some below. Yet, happiness is exactly at the exact height of human beings.
  • Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few. See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful in acting on the rest and your causes for regret will be few. Speaking without fault, acting without causing regret: ‘upgrading’ consists in this.
  • When we have intelligence resulting from sincerity, this condition is to be ascribed to nature; when we have sincerity resulting from intelligence, this condition is to be ascribed to instruction. But given the sincerity, and there shall be the intelligence; given the intelligence, and there shall be the sincerity.
  • The Master said, A gentleman, in his plans, thinks of the Way; he does not think how he is going to make a living. Even farming sometimes entails 5 times of shortage; and even learning may incidentally lead to high pay. But a gentleman’s anxieties concern the progress of the Way; he has no anxiety concerning poverty.
  • Be faithful and true of word; let thy walk be plain and lowly: thou wilt get on, though in savage land. If thy words be not faithful and true, thy walk plain and lowly, wilt thou get on, though in thine own home? Standing, see these words ranged before thee; driving, see them written upon the yoke. Then thou wilt get on.
  • Though Confucius served the Duke of Lu, a Chinese state, he made many enemies with the nobles of the land. His views antagonized the powerful nobles, who wanted the Duke to be a puppet in their hands. Confucius was exiled from the State of Lu for more than two decades. He lived in the countryside, spreading his teachings.
  • All things are nourished together without their injuring one another. The courses of the seasons, and of the sun and moon, are pursued without any collision among  The smaller energies are like river currents; the greater energies are seen  in mighty transformations. It is this which makes heaven and earth so great.
  • There is a growing interest in Confucianism in China and other parts of the world. More and more followers of Confucianism are advocating a deeper study of his philosophies. Confucius’ ideals stand true even today. His philosophy on how to be a Junzi or the perfect gentleman is based on the simple ideology of love and tolerance.
  • Sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.
  • It is true that we shall not be able to reach perfection, but in our struggle toward it we shall strengthen our characters and give stability to our ideas, so that, whilst ever advancing calmly in the same direction, we shall be rendered capable of applying the faculties with which we have been gifted to the best possible account.
  • Great as heaven and earth are, men still find some things in them with which to be Thus it is that, were the superior man to speak of his way in all its greatness, nothing in the world would be found able to embrace it, and were he to speak of it in its minuteness, nothing in the world would be found able to split it.
  • Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously
  • There are some with whom we may study in common, but we shall find them unable to go along with us to principles. Perhaps we may go on with them to principles, but we shall find them unable to get established in those along with us. Or if we may get so established along with them, we shall find them unable to weigh occurring events along with us.
  • Some are born with knowledge, some derive it from study, and some acquire it only after a painful realization of their ignorance. But the knowledge being possessed, it comes to the same thing. Some study with a natural ease, some from a desire for advantages, and some by strenuous effort. But the achievement being made, it comes to the same thing.
  • Behave when away from home as though you were in the presence of an honored guest. Employ the people as though you were assisting at an important sacrifice. Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no feelings of opposition to you, whether it is the affairs of a state that you are handling or the affairs of a family.
  • Therefore, only through education does one come to be dissatisfied with his own knowledge, and only through teaching others does one come to realize the uncomfortable inadequacy of his knowledge. Being dissatisfied with his own knowledge, one then realizes that the trouble lies with himself, and realizing the uncomfortable inadequacy of his knowledger.
  • There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation: these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued: these are injurious.
  • The Master said, The case is like that of someone raising a mound. If he stops working, the fact that it perhaps needed only one more basketful makes no difference; I stay where I am. Whereas even if he has not got beyond leveling the ground, but is still at work, the fact that he has only tilted one basketful of earth makes no difference. I go to help him.
  • If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
  • If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength; if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if in his intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere – although men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.
  • When abroad, behaveto everyone as if interviewing an honored guest; in directing the people, act as if you were assisting at a great sacrafice; DO NOT DO TO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD NOT LIKE DONE TO YOURSELF: so there will be no murmuring against you in the country, and none in the family; your public life will arouse no ill-will nor your private life any resentment.
  • The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of righ.
  • Be sincere and true to your word, serious and careful in your actions; and you will get along even among barbarians, But if you are not sincere and untrustworthy in your speech, frivolous and careless in your actions, how will you get along even among your own neighbors? When stand, see these principles in front of you; in your carriage see them on the yoke. Then you may be sure to get along.
  • In ancient times, those who wished to illuminate the world with virtue first brought order to their nations. Wishing to order well their nations, they first harmonized their families. Wishing to harmonize their families, they first cultivated themselves. Wishing to cultivate themselves, they first rectified their minds. Those who wished to rectify their minds first made their intentions sincere.
  • Every piece of marble has a statue in it waiting to be released by a person of sufficient skill to chip away the unnecessary parts. Just as the sculptor is to the marble, so is education to the soul.  It releases it.  For only educated people are free people.  You cannot create a statue by smashing the marble with a hammer, and you cannot by the force of arms release the spirit or the soul of people.
  • Can any do otherwise than assent to words said to them by way of correction? Only let them reform by such advice, and it will then be reckoned valuable. Can any be other than pleased with words of gentle suasion? Only let them comply with them fully, and such also will be accounted valuable. With those who are pleased without so complying, and those who assent but do not reform, I can do nothing at all.
  • On matters beyond his ken a gentleman speaks with caution. If names are not right, words are misused. When words are misused, affairs go wrong. When affairs go wrong, courtesy and music droop, law and justice fail. And when law and justice fail them, a people can move neither hand nor foot. So a gentleman must be ready to put names in speech, to put words into deeds. A gentleman is nowise careless of words.
  • To be fond of learning is to draw close to wisdom. To practice with vigor is to draw close to benevolence. To know the sense of shame is to draw close to courage. He who knows these three things knows how to cultivate his own character. Knowing how to cultivate his own character, he knows how to govern other men. Knowing how to govern other men, he knows how to govern the world, its states, and its families.
  • There are 3 elements essential in the matters of the State, Food, Military equipment, and Confidence of the people in the ruler. Of these 3, Military Equipment is the least important, Food being the 2nd important, and Confidence of the people being the MOST important. All men rather die of starvation than in war, but nevertheless all men do die of old age. Lacking in Confidence from the people, a state cannot survive.
  • How great is the path proper to the Sage! Like overflowing water, it sends forth and nourishes all things, and rises up to the height of heaven. All-complete is its  greatness! It embraces the three hundred rules of ceremony, and the three thousand rules of demeanor. It waits for the proper man, and then it is trodden. Hence it is  said, ‘Only by perfect virtue can the perfect path, in all its courses, be made a fact.’
  • The gentleman has nine cares. In seeing he is careful to see clearly; in hearing he is careful to hear distinctly; in his looks he is careful to be kind, in his manner to be respectful, in his words to be sincere, in his work to be diligent. When in doubt he is careful to ask for information; when angry he has a care for the consequences; and when he sees a chance for gain, he thinks carefully whether the pursuits of it would be right.
  • The wise men of antiquity, when they wished to make the whole world peaceful and happy, first put their own States into proper order. Before putting their States into proper order, they regulated their own families. Before regulating their families, they regulated themselves. Before regulating themselves, they tried to be sincere in their thoughts. Before being sincere in their thoughts, they tried to see things exactly as they really were.
  • There are three sorts of pleasures which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Finding pleasure in the discriminating study of ceremonies and music, finding pleasure in discussing the good points in the conduct of others, and finding pleasure in having many wise friends, these are advantageous. But finding pleasure in profligate enjoyments, finding pleasure in idle gadding about, and finding pleasure in feasting, these are injurious.
  • Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy.
  • When things are investigated, then true knowledge is achieved; when true knowledge is achieved, then the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, then the heart is set right ; when the heart is set right, then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world.
  • Tzu Chang asked Confucius about jen. Confucius said, “If you can practice these five things with all the people, you can be called jen.” Tzu Chang asked what they were. Confucius said, “Courtesy, generosity, honesty, persistence, and kindness. If you are courteous, you will not be disrespected; if you are generous, you will gain everything. If you are honest, people will rely on you. If you are persistent you will get results. If you are kind, you can employ people.
  • Here is an example of Confucius sayings: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” In a few words, Confucius teaches us about patience, perseverance, discipline, and hard work. But if you probe further, you will see more layers. Confucius’ philosophies have significantly influenced spiritual and social thought. His views bear insight and depth of wisdom. You can apply his teachings in every sphere of life. Confucius’ profound teachings are based on humanism.
  • The Master said, “Wealth and honor are things that all people desire, and yet unless they are acquired in the proper way I will not abide them. Poverty and disgrace are things that all people hate, and yet unless they are avoided in the proper way I will not despise them. If the gentleman abandons ren, how can he be worthy of that name? The gentleman does not violate ren even for the amount of time required to eat a meal. Even in times of urgency or distress, he does not depart from it.”
  • Love of goodness without love of learning degenerates into simple-mindedness. Love of knowledge without love of learning degenerates into utter lack of principle. Love of faithfulness without love of learning degenerates into injurious disregard of consequences. Love of uprightness without love of learning degenerates into harshness. Love of courage without love of learning degenerates into insubordination. Love of strong character without love of learning degenerates into mere recklessness.
  • The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does the reverse. . . . The nobler sort of man pays special attention to nine points. He is anxious to see clearly, to hear distinctly, to be kindly in his looks, respectful in his demeanor, conscientious in his speech, earnest in his affairs. When in doubt, he is careful to inquire; when in anger, he thinks of the consequences; when offered an opportunity for gain, he thinks only of his duty.
  • I have never seen one who really loves goodness or one who really hates wickedness. One who really loves goodness will not place anything above it. One who really hates wickedness will practice goodness in such a way that wickedness will have no chance to get at him. Is there anyone who has devoted his whole strength to doing good for even as long as a single day? I have not seen anyone give up such an attempt because he had not the strength to go on. Perhaps there is such a case, but I have never seen it.
  • What is God-given is called nature; to follow nature is called Tao (the Way); to cultivate the way is called culture. Before joy, anger, sadness and happiness are expressed, they are called the inner self; when they are expressed to the proper degree, they are called harmony. The inner self is the correct foundation of the world, and the harmony is the illustrious Way. When a man has achieved the inner self and harmony, the heaven and earth are orderly and the myriad of things are nourished and grow thereby.
  • When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Leaders are capable and virtuous. Everyone loves and respects their own parents and children as well as the parents and children of others. The old are cared for, adults have jobs, children are nourished and educated. There is a means of support for all those who are disabled or find themselves alone in the world. Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society. Devotion to public duty leaves no place for idleness. Scheming for ill gain is unknown. Sharing displaces selfishness and materialism.
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