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published: 12/28/12
updated: 2/14/14

Confucianism Quotes




Confucius Quotes

"Earnest in practicing the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license."

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

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"Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."

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"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."





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"Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself."

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"I will not be concerned at other men's not knowing me;I will be concerned at my own want of ability."

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"In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself."

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"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."

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

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"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."

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"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."

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"Respect yourself and others will respect you."




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"Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself."

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"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."

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"The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action."

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"The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters."

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"The superior man has nothing to compete for. But if he must compete, he does it in an archery match, wherein he ascends to his position, bowing in deference. Descending, he drinks the ritual cup."

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"The superior man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing."

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"The superior man is aware of Righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage."

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"There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute."

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Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone."

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

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

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

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

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