Friday, January 11, 2013

Confucius’s wise words


It is rare, indeed, for a man with cunning words and an ingratiating face to be benevolent.
A young man should be a good son at home and an obedient young man abroad, sparing of speech but trustworthy in what he says and should love the multitude at large but cultivate the friendship of his fellow men. If he has any energy to spare from such action, let him devote it to making himself cultivated.
Observe what a man has in mind to do when his father is living, and then observe what he does when his father is dead. If for three years, he makes no changes to his father’s ways, he can be said to be a good son.
The rule of virtue can be compared to the Pole Star which commands the homage of the multitude of stars without leaving its place.
To attack a task from the wrong end can do nothing but harm.
It is only the benevolent man who is capable of liking or disliking other men.
If a man sets his heart on benevolence, he will be free from evil.
If one is guided by profit in one’s actions, one will incur much ill will.
It is rare for a man to miss the mark through holding on to essentials.
Virtue never stands alone. It is bound to have neighbours.
To be fond of something is better than merely to know it, and to find joy in it is better than merely to be fond of it.


The common people can be made to follow a path but not to understand it.
The gentleman helps others to realise what is good in them; he does not help them to realise what is bad in them. The small man does the opposite.
Claims made immodestly are difficult to live up to.
A good horse is praised for its virtue, not for its strength.
Men of antiquity studied to improve themselves; men today study to impress others.
To fail to speak to a man who is capable of benefiting is to let a man go to waste. To speak to a man who is incapable of benefiting is to let one’s words got to waste. A wise man lets neither men nor words got to waste.
I suppose I should give up hope. I have yet to meet the man who is as fond of virtue as he is of beauty in women.
The gentleman hates not leaving behind a name when he is gone.
What the gentleman seeks, he seeks within himself; what the small man seeks, he seeks in others.
When faced with the opportunity of benevolence do not give precedence even to your teacher.
It is enough that the language one uses gets the point across.
It is only the most intelligent and the most stupid who are not susceptible to change.

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