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Quotations - Confucius

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

Do unto others what you want done unto you.

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.

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.

Time flows away like the water in the river.

To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

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

Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.

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.”

The Master said, “A 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 superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

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.

The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.

Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.

The Master said, “If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.”

Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.

Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.

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.

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.

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.

The Master said, “The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.”

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

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.

He who will not economize will agonize.

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.

People with virtue must speak out; People who speak are not all virtuous.

A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.

Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

The demands that good people make are upon themselves;

Those that bad people make are upon others.

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.

Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.

I followed my heart without breaking any rules.

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 right.

When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.

To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.

The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.

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

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.

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.

Never tire to study. And to teach to others.

The cautious seldom err.

For this reason the gentleman will employ a man on a distant mission and observe his degree of loyalty, will employ him close at hand and observe his degree of respect. He will hand him troublesome affairs and observe how well he manages them, will suddenly ask his advice and observe how wisely he answers. He will exact some difficult promise from him and see how well he keeps it, turn over funds to him and see with what benevolence he dispenses them, inform him of the danger he is in and note how faithful he is to his duties. He will get him drunk with wine and observe how well he handles himself, place him in mixed company and see what effect beauty has upon him. By applying these nine tests, you may determine who is the unworthy man.

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.

Return good for good; return evil with justice.

When the wise man points at the Moon, the idiot looks at the finger.

To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.

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?

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.

Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.

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.

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.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.

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.

Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.

Conduct thyself always with the same prudence as though thou went observed by ten eyes and pointed at by ten fingers.

Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

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.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.

If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

The object of the superior man is truth.

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.

The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.

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

To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.

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