21 Life Teachings of Confucius

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Confucius was an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure that was known for his popular aphorisms and his models of social interactions. These are some of his best life teachings.

21 Life Teachings of Confucius



Confucius, Kong Qui, was born in 551 B.C. in the Lu state of China. His teachings were preserved in the Analects, and they focused on creating ethical models of family and public interaction and setting educational standards. He died in 479 B.C. Confucianism became the official imperial philosophy of China, and was influential during the Han, Tang and Song dynasties.

Chinese states undermined the authority of the Chou Empire during the 6th century B.C., which held supreme rule over 500 years. Confucius recognized an opportunity to reinforce the societal values of compassion and tradition. His social philosophy was based on the principle of “ren” or “loving others” while exercising self-discipline. He believed that people should follow the Golden Rule, “What you do not wish to yourself, do not do to others.”




Life teachings of Confucius:
1. “To govern means to rectify. If you lead the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?”
2. “The noble man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.”
3. “The noble man is not a utensil.”
4. “In my understanding of music, the piece should be begun in unison. Afterward, if it is pure, clear and without break, it will be perfect.”
5. “If you govern with the power of your virtue, you will be like the North Star. It just stays in its place while all the other stars position themselves around it.”
6. “If a person lacks trustworthiness, I don’t know what s/he can be good for. When a pin is missing from the yoke-bar of a large wagon, or from the collar-bar of a small wagon, how can it go?”
7. “If the noble man lacks gravitas, then he will not inspire awe in others. If he is not learned, then he will not be on firm ground. He takes loyalty and good faith to be of primary importance and has no friends who are not of equal moral caliber. When he makes a mistake, he doesn’t hesitate to correct it.”
8. “To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.”
9. “When the noble 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 Way and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can say, he loves learning.”
10. “I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others.”
11. “Those who are born with the possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so readily get possession of knowledge, are the next. Those who are dull and stupid, and yet compass the learning are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn–they are the lowest of the people.”
12. “The 300 verses of the Book of Odes can be summed up in a single phrase: ‘Don’t think in an evil way.”
13. “If you govern the people legalistically and control them by punishment, they will avoid crime, but have no personal sense of shame. If you govern them by means of virtue and control them with propriety, they will gain their own sense of shame, and thus correct themselves.”
14. “You, shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know, what you don’t know, you don’t know. This is knowledge.”
15. “People err, according to their own level. It is by observing a person’s mistakes that you can know his/her goodness.”
16. “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.”
17. “See a person’s means (of getting things). Observe his motives. Examine that in which he rests. How can a person conceal his character?”
18. “There are three things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of the sages. The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of the sages.”
19. “Reviewing what you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher.”
20. “Someone who is a clever speaker and maintains a contrived smile is seldom considered to be a really good person.”
21. “The noble 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. This is the competition of the noble man.”



Fuente: buynongmoseeds.com
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