Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Confucius. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Confucius ( kən-FEW-shəs; Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; 551–479 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Widely considered one of the most important and influential individuals in human history, Confucius's teachings and philosophy formed the basis of East Asian culture and society, and remain influential today.
The philosophy of Confucius—Confucianism—emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. 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 in the new government. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New 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 have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. With filial piety, he championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule. He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.
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.
A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician.
The more man meditates upon good thoughts the better will be his world and the world at large.
The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. Euripides to go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife.
It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change.
If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day.
If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's ok. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot.
Return good for good; return evil with justice.
He who will not economize will have to agonize.
In speaking, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning.
A gentleman wishes to be slow to speak and quick to act.
They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.
The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
The superior man is firm in the right way and not merely firm.
The superior man limits his achievements.
Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try.
When the wind blows, the grass bends.
Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving.
If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.
There is no spectacle more agreeable than to observe an old friend fall from a rooftop.
The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.
Heaven sends down its good and evil symbols and wise men act accordingly.
I am not worried that nobody knows me. I seek to become fit to be known.
Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.
Lord Chi Wen thought three times before taking any action. When the Master heard this, he said: Twice is plenty enough.
Worthy admonitions cannot fail to inspire us, but what matters is changing ourselves. Reverent advice cannot fail to encourage us, but what matters is acting on it. Encouraged without acting, inspired without changing -- there's nothing to be done for such people.
I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women.
The noble-minded worry about their lack of ability, not about people's failure to recognize their ability.
First and foremost, be faithful to your superiors, keep all promises, refuse the friendship of all who are not like you; and if you have made a mistake, do not be afraid of admitting the fact and amending your ways.
He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity.
Men of principle are sure to be bold,
but those who are bold may not always be men of principle.
Benevolence is love to all men. It is to know all men.
The person of benevolence never worries.
Of neighborhoods, benevolence is the most beautiful. How can the man be considered wise who when he had the choice does not settle in benevolence.
All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by the right name. When things are properly identified, they fall into natural categories and understanding becomes orderly.
When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?
They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.
The great mountain must collapse, the mighty beam must break and the wise man wither like a plant.
Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself.
A good man is not mine to see. Could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.
One who never anticipates deceit or expects duplicity, and yet is the first to recognize such things -- is that not a sage indeed?
I know how the birds fly, how the fishes swim, how animals run. But there is the Dragon. I cannot tell how it mounts on the winds through the clouds and flies through heaven. Today I have seen the Dragon.
Do unto others what you want done unto you.
Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.
It is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man.
The gentleman prefers to be slow in word but diligent in action.
Every man knows the smell of his own fart.
Excess weakens the spirits.
The faults of the superior man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see them; he changes, and all men look up to him.
The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.
The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it.
Faithfulness and sincerity first of all.
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. If you are generous, you will gain everything.
Be in harmony, yet be different.
Gravity is only the bark of wisdom's tree, but it preserves it.
When everyone hates a person, you should investigate thoroughly, and when everyone loves a person, you should also investigate thoroughly.
The higher type of man clings to virtue, the lower type of man clings to material comfort. The higher type of man cherishes justice, the lower type of man cherishes the hope of favors to be received.
The good man does not grieve that other people do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.
All men are born good.
He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it.
True goodness springs from a man's own heart. All men are born good.
In antiquity men studied for their own sake; nowadays men study for the sake of impressing others.
Charity is that rational and constant affection which makes us sacrifice ourselves to the human race, as if we were united with it, so as to form one individual, partaking equally in its adversity and prosperity.
Even if I could, I would not exahnge their virtues for my own. And that is why they are intent on learning from me.
An inconvenience is an unrecognized opportunity.
If a man be under the influence of anger his conduct will not be correct.
There are cases in which the blade springs, but the plant does not go on to flower. There are cases where it flowers, but no fruit is subsequently produced.
For benefits return benefits; for injuries return justice without any admixture of revenge.
Friendship with the upright, with the truthful and with the well informed is beneficial. Friendship with those who flatter, with those who are meek and who compromise with principles, and with those who talk cleverly is harmful.
There has never been a man mean and at the same time virtuous.
Bird in hand makes it harder to blow nose.
To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.
If you did not do so for the sake of riches,You must have done so for the sake of novelty.
It cannot be when the root is neglected that what springs from it will be well ordered.
It is goodness that gives to a neighborhood its beauty. One who is free to choose, yet does not prefer to dwell among the good -- how can he be accorded the name of wise?
He who is concerned only with the purity of his own life ruins the great human relations.
It is better to play than do nothing.
If one learns from others, but does not think, one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril.
He who merely knows right principles is not equal to him who loves them.
Care not for want of place; care for thy readiness to fill one. Care not for being unknown, but seek to be worthy of note.
A man who lacks reliability is utterly useless.
The failure to cultivate virtue, the failure to examine and analyze what I have learned, the inability to move toward righteousness after being shown the way, the inability to correct my faults-these are the causes of my grief.
Time flows away like the water in the river.
The wise man delights in water, the Good man delights in mountains. For the wise move; but the Good stay still. The wise are happy; but the good secure.
Cultivate the root; the leaves and branches will take care of themselves.
The Way is not for, but from, man; if we take the Way as something superhuman, beyond man, this is not the real Way.
Give me a few more years so that I am studying at fifty, and surely I may avoid major errors.
Virtue is not solitary; it is bound to have neighbors.
In a hamlet of ten households, there are bound to be those who are my equal in doing their best for others and in being trustworthy in what they say, but they are unlikely to be as eager to learn as I am.
Quotes by Confucius are featured in:
Words Of Wisdom Quotes
You Yourself Quotes
Saving Money Quotes