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The superior person

The following quotations on the superior man are from Confucius:


The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

The object of the superior man is truth.

The virtuous man is driven by responsibility, the non-virtuous man is driven by profit.

The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands


The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in

the Arts.

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 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.

If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one's entire life, perhaps it

would be 'thoughtfulness'.

The demands that good people make are upon themselves; those that bad people make are upon others.

The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified


The superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may

have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself.

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.

There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth … lust. When he is strong … quarrelsomeness. When he is old … covetousness.

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.

The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.

The superior man...does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.

What the superior man seeks is in himself. What the mean man seeks is in others.

Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.


The following are from Buddha:

The teaching is simple. Do what is right. Be Pure.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.

Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.

If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool.


The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.

More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm.

Contentment is the greatest wealth.



The first priority of the superior person is truth, justice, and doing the right thing. The first priority of the common person is pleasure, money, social acceptance, social status, etc. What is most important to the superior man is not what is most important to most people. What is most important to most people is not what is most important to the superior man. The quest for pleasure, money, etc. is what shapes and guides the thoughts of most people. The superior person seeks truth and understanding and pursues right, virtue, and goodness.

June 2014

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