Confucius Love Quotes and Sayings

1. Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?

2. To love a thing means wanting it to live.

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A portrait of Confucius, by Tang Dynasty artist Wu Daozi (680-740)Excerpt from Wikipedia: Confucius (Chinese: 孔子; pinyin: Kǒng zǐ; Wade-Giles: K’ung-tzu, or Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ; Wade-Giles: K’ung-fu-tzu), literally “Master Kong,” (traditionally September 28, 551 BCE – 479 BCE) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher.

His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism (法家) or Taoism (道家) during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Confucius’ thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism (儒家). It was introduced to Europe by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinise the name as “Confucius.”

His teachings may be found in the Analects of Confucius (論語), a collection of “brief aphoristic fragments”, which was compiled many years after his death. For nearly 2,000 years he was thought to be the editor or author of all the Five Classics (五經) such as the Classic of Rites (禮記) (editor), and the Spring and Autumn Annals (春秋) (author).

Kong Qiu (孔丘), as Confucius is commonly known, is a combination of his surname (孔) and his given name (丘), and he was also known as Zhong Ni (仲尼), which is his courtesy name. He was born in 551 BCE in the Lu state (This state was in the south of modern-day Shandong Province) in the later days of the Spring and Autumn Period. Confucius was from a warrior family. His father Shulianghe (叔梁紇) was a famous warrior who had military exploits in two battles and owned a fiefdom. Confucius lost his father when he was three years old, and then his mother Yan Zhengzai (顏徵在) took him and left the fiefdom because as a concubine (妾), she wanted to avoid mistreatment from Shulianghe’s formal wife. Thus, Confucius lived in poverty with his mother since childhood.

With the support and encouragement of his mother, Confucius was very diligent in his studies. When Confucius was seventeen years old, his mother died as a result of illness and overwork. Three years later, Confucius married a young woman who was from the Qiguan family (亓官氏) of the Song state (宋). Though he had a mild tempered wife who loved him, he left his family to strive for his ideals. Confucius sought to revive the perfect virtue of Huaxia (Chinese civilization) and the classical properties of the Western Zhou Dynasty to build a great, harmonious and humanistic society.

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Sayings by Confucius

1. A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

2. Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.

3. An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.

4. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

5. 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.

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

7. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.

8. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

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

10. Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.

11. He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

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

13. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

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

15. 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.

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

17. If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

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

19. 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.

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

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

22. Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.

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

24. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

25. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

26. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.

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

28. The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.

29. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.

30. The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

31. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

32. To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

33. To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

34. Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.

35. When anger rises, think of the consequences.

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

37. When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

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

39. Learn as though you would never be able to master it; Hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.

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

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

42. Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.

43. I am not concerned that I have no place, I am concerned how I may fit myself for one, I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.

44. Those who are firm, enduring, simple and unpretentious are the nearest to virtue.

45. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

46. To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.

47. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

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