Confucius Quotes and Sayings

Confucius Quotes and Sayings

Confucius Quotes and Sayings

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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.

Confucius Quotes and Sayings

#1 君子欲訥於言而敏於行。(James Legge translation)

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

#2 The Ethics of Confucius, Miles Menander Dawson, Chapter 2 on Self-development

2. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart!

#3 James Legge, Life of Confucius, Volume I of The Chinese Classics, 1895

3. Remember this, my children, oppressive government is fiercer and more feared than a tiger.

#4 既来之,则安之。Taken from 《论语·季氏》

4. Wherever you go, there you are.

#5 The Analects, as reported in Chambers Dictionary of Quotations (1997), p. 279

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 不患人之不己知,患不知人也。

6. I am not bothered by the fact that I am not understood. I am bothered when I do not know others.

#7 己所不欲,勿施於人

7. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.

#8 Quoted in The Ethics of Confucius, Miles Menander Dawson (Analects, bk. xiii., c. xxvii.)

8. The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the unpretentious are near to virtue.

#9 見義不為,無勇也。

9. If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.

#10 Confucius, The Analects, Chapter 13

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

#11 學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

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

#12 The Confucian Analects, the Great Learning & the Doctrine of the Mean

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

#13 The Analects by Confucius, Part 4

13. A man should say, 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.

#14 三人行,必有我師焉:擇其善者而從之,其不善者而改之。

14. If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher: I will pick out the good points and imitate them, and the bad points and correct them in myself.

#15 吾十有五而志於學,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳順,七十而从心所欲,不逾矩。

15. At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the will of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without overstepping the boundaries of what was right.

#16 The Analects

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

#17 The Analects, 學而時習之、不亦說乎。有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。

17. Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?

#18 The Analects, 巧言令色、鮮矣仁。

18. Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.

#19 The Analects, Chapter II, 溫故而知新,可以為師矣。

19. Reviewing what you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher.

#20 The Analects, Chapter II, 君子周而不比,小人比而不周。

20. The Superior Man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.

#21 The Analects, Chapter II, 學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

21. To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

#22 The Analects, Chapter II, 視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉叟哉?人焉叟哉?

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

#23 The Analects, Chapter II, 誨女知之乎,知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。

23. … shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know, what you don’t know, you don’t know. This is true wisdom.

#24 The Doctrine of the Mean

24. In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.

#25 Quoted in Out of the Blue: Delight Comes Into Our Lives, 1996, Mark Victor Hansen, Barbara Nichols, and Patty Hansen

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

#26 The Analects, Chapter IV, 君子喻於義,小人喻於利。

26. The mind of the superior man is conversant with righteousness, the mind of the ordinary man is conversant with gain.

#27 The Analects, Chapter VIII, 邦有道貧且賤焉恥也,邦無道富且貴焉恥也。

27. When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.

#28 The Ethics of Confucius, Miles Menander Dawson, Analects, bk. xv., c. xvii.

28. The superior man is distressed by his want of ability; he is not distressed by men’s not knowing him.

#29 The Ethics of Confucius, Miles Menander Dawson, Analects, Analects, bk. iv., c. xi.

29. The superior man thinks of virtue, the ordinary man thinks of comfort. The superior man thinks of sanctions of law, the ordinary man of favours.

#30-31 The Analects

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

31. Only after Winter comes do we know that the pine and the cypress are the last to fade.

#32 見賢思齊焉;見不賢而內自省也。James Legge, translation, 1893

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

#33 The Analects, Lunyu XVII. 6. (453), 能行五者於天下為仁矣。恭,寬,信,敏,惠,恭則不侮,寬則得眾,信則人任焉,敏則有功,惠則足以使人。

33. To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue. Gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If you are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If you are kind, this will enable you to employ the services of others.

#34 The Analects, Chapter IV, 德不孤,必有鄰。

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

Unsourced Quotes by Confucius

1. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

2. 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.

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

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

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

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

7. 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.

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

9. 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.

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

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

Quotes misattributed to Confucius

#1 不闻不若闻之,闻之不若见之,见之不若知之,知之不若行之。From Xún Zǐ, Rú Xiào Piān 《儒孝篇》

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

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