Confucius (551 BC-479 BC)

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

“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.”

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

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

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

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

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

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

“The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.”

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

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

“You cannot open a book without learning something.”

“The funniest people are the saddest ones.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

“Do unto others what you want done unto you.”

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

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

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

“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.”

“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.”

“A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.”

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

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

“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. ”

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

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

“If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children. ”

“Shall I teach you what knowledge? When you know a thing, say that you know it;
when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge.”

“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.”

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.”

“The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.”

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

“Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it.”

“When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.”

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

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

“By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”

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

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

“No lake so still but it has its wave.
No circle so perfect but that it has its blur.
I would change things for you if I could; As I can’t you must take them as they are.”

“One joy dispels a hundred cares.”

“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.”

“Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.”

“Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.”

“Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.”

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

“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.”

“We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves.”

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”

“He who will not economize will agonize. ”

“Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously.”

“The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it.”

“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.”

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”

“They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom.”

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

“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.”

“Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”

“You will never know how sharp a sword is unless it’s drawn from its sheath.”

“Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”

“A man of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish himself, finds a foothold for others and who, in desiring attaining himself, helps others to attain.”

“Behind every smile there’s teeth.”

“If you don’t want to do something, don’t impose on others”

“To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.”

“Roads were made for journeys not destinations.”

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”

“Virtue is never left to stand alone. He who has it will have neighbors.”

“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.”

“When the wind blows, the grass bends.”

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

“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.”

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

“Some are born with knowledge, some derive it from study, and some acquire it only after a painful realization of their ignorance.

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

“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 sling mud, lose ground.”

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

“Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.”

“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.”

“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”

“It is when those who are not strong enough have made some moderate amount of progress that they fail and give up…”

“A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?”

“We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living.”

“The Man who says he can, and the man who says he cannot.. Are both correct.”

“A man without a mustache is a man without a soul.”

“When a person should be spoken with, and you don’t speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn’t be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your breath. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their breath.”

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

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

“The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.”

“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.”

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

“The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.”

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

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

“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.”

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

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”

“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.”

“Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.”

“To know, is to know that you know nothing, that is the meaning of true knowledge.”

“Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.”

“The cautious seldom err.”

“The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.”

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

“If I understand change, I shall make no great mistake in life.”

“Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it.”

“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”

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

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

“A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician.”

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

“He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.”

“Return good for good; return evil with justice.”

“Never tire to study. And to teach to others.”

“To study and constantly, is this not a pleasure? To have friends come from far away places, is this not a joy? If people do not recognize your worth, but this does not worry you, are you not a true gentleman?”

“Those who understands is not better than those who appreciates, those who appreciates is not better than those who enjoys.”

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

“In his dealings with the world, the gentleman is not invariably for or against anything. He is on the side of what is moral.”

“Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.”

“A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present? If he reach the age of forty or fifty, and has not made himself heard of, then indeed he will not be worth being regarded with respect.”

“If either wealth or poverty are come by honesty, there is no shame.”

“A superior man in dealing with the world is not for anything or against anything. He follows righteousness as the standard.”

“The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

“Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is intellectual death.”

“What can a man do with music who is not benevolent?”

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

“Let a ruler base his government upon virtuous principles, and he will be like the pole-star, which remains steadfast in its place, while all the host of stars turn towards it.”

“I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.”

“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.”

“By three methods may we learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.”

“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.”

“He who is concerned only with the purity of his own life ruins the great human relations.”

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