37 Confucius' Quotes That Will Help You Understand The Chinese Philosophy

Confucius (551–479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.

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. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.

Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", an early version of the Golden Rule.

Here are some of his most inspiring quotes:

1) “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” (The Analects)

2) “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” 

3) “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” (The Analects)

4) “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” 

5) “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” (The Sayings of Confucius)

6) “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” 

7) “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.”

8) “If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.” 

9) “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” 

10) “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” (The Book of Rites)

11) “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”

12) “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.” 

13) “Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.” 

14) “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.” 

15) “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” 

16) “The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?” 

17) “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.” 

18) “Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.” 

19) “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

20) “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” 

21) “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.” 

22) “Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.” 

23) “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” 

24) “You cannot open a book without learning something.” 

25) “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”

26) “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”

27) “Study the past if you would define the future.” 

28) “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

29) “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” 

30) “The funniest people are the saddest ones” 

31) “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

32) “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” 

33) “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.” 

34) “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” 

35) “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” 

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

37) “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.”

source and courtesy: thinkinghumanity.com

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