Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.
The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, the correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.
It is thought that Confucius was born on September 28, 551 BC, in the district of Zou, near present-day Qufu, China.
Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself.
Throughout history, Confucius is widely considered one of the most important and influential individuals in affecting the lives of humanity. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and still linger in today’s society.
His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Confucian ethics may, therefore, be considered a type of virtue ethics.
1. “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.”
2. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
3. “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.”
4. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
5. “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.”
6. “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you.”
7. “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”
8. “Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving-kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”
9. “I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”
10. “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.”
11. “Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.”
12. “As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.”
13. “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.”
14. “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.”
15. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”