Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the spring and autumn period of Chinese history was Born: on September 28, 551 BC, and Died on 479 BC (aged 72)
Confucius Was Known For
- Book of Rites (200 BC)
- The sayings of Confucius
- Book of Documents
- The ethics of Confucius
Below are the Most Famous and Popular (235) Quotes by Confucius
- At fifteen, my mind was bent on learning.
At thirty, I stood firm.
At forty, I had no doubts.
At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
At sixty, my ear was receptive to truth.
At seventy, I could follow my heart’s desires without sin.
- Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.
- With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow—I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.
- Ceremonies are the first thing to be attended to in the practice of government.
- You do not understand even life. How can you understand death?
- The man of wisdom delights in water; the man of humanity delights in mountains. The man of wisdom is active; the man of humanity is tranquil. The man of wisdom enjoys happiness; the man of humanity enjoys a long life.
- One who is by nature daring and is suffering from poverty will not long be law-abiding. Indeed, any men, save those that are truly good, if their sufferings are very great, will be likely to rebel.
- If the search for riches were sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with a whip in my hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love.
- The commander of the forces of a large State may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.
- While the gentleman cherishes benign rule, the small man cherishes his native land. While the gentleman cherishes respect for the law, the small man cherishes generous treatment.
- When a man comes to me, I accept him at his best, not at his worst. Why make so much ado? When a man washes his hands before paying a visit, and you receive him in that clean state, you do not thereby stand surety for his always having been clean in the past.
- A workman who wants to do his work well must first prepare his tools.
- Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
- Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
- It is only the very wisest and the very stupidest who cannot change.
- A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?
- A man should demand much from himself, but little from others. When you meet a man of worth, think about how you may attain his excellence. When you meet an unworthy one, then look within and examine yourself.
- A country of a thousand war-chariots cannot be administered unless the ruler attends strictly to business, punctually observes his promises, is economical in expenditure, loves the people, and uses the labor of the peasantry only at the proper times of the year.
- If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength; if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if in his intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere — although men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.
- The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path.
- Great as heaven and earth are, men still find some things in them with which to be dissatisfied. Thus it is that, were the superior man to speak of his way in all its greatness, nothing in the world would be found able to embrace it and were he to speak of it in its minuteness, nothing in the world would be found able to split it.
- He who requires much from himself and little from others will keep himself from being the object of resentment.
- If we are not yet able to serve man, how can we serve spiritual beings? If we do not yet know about life how can we know about death?
- I transmit but do not create. I believe in and love the ancients.
- A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders.
- Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.
- For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We should be careful indeed what we say.
- To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence, and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude.
- The desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.
- When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path.
- The superior man extensively studies literature and restrains himself with the rules of propriety. Thus he will not violate the Way.
- In old days men studied for the sake of self-improvement; nowadays men study in order to impress other people.
- When a man feels the difficulty doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?
- Things that are done, it is needless to speak about… things that are past, it is needless to blame.
- What the great learning teaches, is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people, and to rest in the highest excellence.
- The superior man is broadminded but not partisan; the inferior man is partisan but not broadminded.
- Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.
- The gentleman desires to be halting in speech but quick in action.
- When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.
- In a hamlet of ten households, there are bound to be those who are my equal in doing their best for others and in being trustworthy in what they say, but they are unlikely to be as eager to learn as I am.