Confucius – 551 BC to 479 BC – was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.
One of the greatest strengths of Confucius is probably the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behaviour.
His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral standards, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules.
His teachings require examination and thinking in order to be understood. A good example is found here:
When his stables were burnt down, on returning from court, he asked, “Was anyone hurt?” He did not ask about the horses.
By not asking about the horses, Confucius demonstrates that the sage values human beings over property; readers are led to reflect on whether their response would follow Confucius’s and to pursue self-improvement, or… if not…
Time flows away
like the water in the river.
Your life is
what your thoughts make it.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in getting up every time we do.
never forget kindnesses.
When you have faults,
do not fear to abandon them.
Success depends upon previous preparation,
and without such preparation
there is sure to be failure.
Don’t be concerned
others not appreciating you.
Be concerned about you
not appreciating others.
It does not matter
how slowly you go
as long as you do not stop.
The man who moves a mountain
begins by carrying away small stones.
The gem cannot be polished without friction,
nor man perfected without trials.
Worry not that no one knows you;
seek to be worth knowing.
What you do not want done to yourself,
do not do to others.