Title Image - Quotes by Author Confucius

431 Wise Quotes by Confucius

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.

Wikipedia Summary for Confucius

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.

Quote: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Study the past if you would define the future. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Study the past if you would define the future.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Study the past if you would define the future. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.


Quote: The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Silence is a true friend who never betrays. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.


Quote: Wherever you go, go with all your heart. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.


Quote: He who will not economize will have to agonize. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

He who will not economize will have to agonize.


Quote: To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: He is the truly courageous man who never desponds. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

He is the truly courageous man who never desponds.


Quote: Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.


Quote: Poor food and water for dinner, a bent arm for a pillow -- that is where joy resides. For me, wealth and renown without honor are nothing but drifting clouds. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Poor food and water for dinner, a bent arm for a pillow -- that is where joy resides. For me, wealth and renown without honor are nothing but drifting clouds.


Quote: A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.


Quote: A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.


Quote: A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others.


Quote: It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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

Longer Version/[Notes]:

It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
Confucius
This is a major problem in America, where greed, power, and money are the highest value. This creates a paranoia atmosphere.I mention this all the time, but first time I have ever seen it.


Quote: Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The object of the superior man is truth. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The object of the superior man is truth.


Quote: Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.


Quote: Never give a sword to a man who can't dance. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.


Quote: Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.


Quote: Forget injuries, never forget kindnessess. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Forget injuries, never forget kindnessess.


Quote: When strict with oneself, one rarely fails. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

When strict with oneself, one rarely fails.


Quote: Excellence does not remain alone. It is sure to attract neighbors. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Excellence does not remain alone. It is sure to attract neighbors.


Quote: He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection.


Quote: There is nothing more real than what cannot be seen and there is nothing more certain than what cannot be heard. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

There is nothing more real than what cannot be seen and there is nothing more certain than what cannot be heard.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: A man without persistence will never make a good shaman or a good physician. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The more man meditates upon good thoughts the better will be his world and the world at large. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife.


Quote: It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change.


Quote: If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: Return good for good; return evil with justice. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Return good for good; return evil with justice.


Quote: In speaking, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

In speaking, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning.


Quote: A gentleman wishes to be slow to speak and quick to act. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A gentleman wishes to be slow to speak and quick to act.


Quote: They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.


Quote: The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The superior man is firm in the right way and not merely firm. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The superior man is firm in the right way and not merely firm.


Quote: The superior man limits his achievements. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The superior man limits his achievements.


Quote: Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven't been willing to try.


Quote: When the wind blows, the grass bends. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

When the wind blows, the grass bends.


Quote: Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Every house guest brings you happiness. Some when they arrive, and some when they are leaving.


Quote: If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.


Quote: There is no spectacle more agreeable than to observe an old friend fall from a rooftop. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

There is no spectacle more agreeable than to observe an old friend fall from a rooftop.


Quote: The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.


Quote: Heaven sends down its good and evil symbols and wise men act accordingly. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Heaven sends down its good and evil symbols and wise men act accordingly.


Quote: I am not worried that nobody knows me. I seek to become fit to be known. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

I am not worried that nobody knows me. I seek to become fit to be known.


Quote: Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.


Quote: Lord Chi Wen thought three times before taking any action. When the Master heard this, he said: Twice is plenty enough. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Lord Chi Wen thought three times before taking any action. When the Master heard this, he said: Twice is plenty enough.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women.


Quote: The noble-minded worry about their lack of ability, not about people's failure to recognize their ability. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The noble-minded worry about their lack of ability, not about people's failure to recognize their ability.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity.


Quote: Men of principle are sure to be bold,
but those who are bold may not always be men of principle. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Men of principle are sure to be bold,
but those who are bold may not always be men of principle.


Quote: Benevolence is love to all men. It is to know all men. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Benevolence is love to all men. It is to know all men.


Quote: The person of benevolence never worries. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The person of benevolence never worries.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking? by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: The great mountain must collapse, the mighty beam must break and the wise man wither like a plant. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The great mountain must collapse, the mighty beam must break and the wise man wither like a plant.


Quote: Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: A good man is not mine to see. Could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A good man is not mine to see. Could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.


Quote: One who never anticipates deceit or expects duplicity, and yet is the first to recognize such things -- is that not a sage indeed? by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

One who never anticipates deceit or expects duplicity, and yet is the first to recognize such things -- is that not a sage indeed?


Quote: A wise man seeks by music to strengthen his soul: the thoughtless one uses it to stifle his fears. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A wise man seeks by music to strengthen his soul: the thoughtless one uses it to stifle his fears.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: Do unto others what you want done unto you. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Do unto others what you want done unto you.


Quote: Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.


Quote: It is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

It is the law of nature that woman should be held under the dominance of man.


Quote: The gentleman prefers to be slow in word but diligent in action. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The gentleman prefers to be slow in word but diligent in action.


Quote: Every man knows the smell of his own fart. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Every man knows the smell of his own fart.


Quote: Excess weakens the spirits. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Excess weakens the spirits.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: The real fault is to have faults and not amend them. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.


Quote: The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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


Quote: Faithfulness and sincerity first of all. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Faithfulness and sincerity first of all.


Quote: A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. If you are generous, you will gain everything. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. If you are generous, you will gain everything.




Quote: Be in harmony, yet be different. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Be in harmony, yet be different.


Quote: Gravity is only the bark of wisdom's tree, but it preserves it. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

Gravity is only the bark of wisdom's tree, but it preserves it.


Quote: When everyone hates a person, you should investigate thoroughly, and when everyone loves a person, you should also investigate thoroughly. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

When everyone hates a person, you should investigate thoroughly, and when everyone loves a person, you should also investigate thoroughly.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: 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. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

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.


Quote: All men are born good. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

All men are born good.


Quote: He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

He who rules by moral force is like the pole star, which remains in place while all the lesser stars do homage to it.


Quote: True goodness springs from a man's own heart. All men are born good. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

True goodness springs from a man's own heart. All men are born good.


Quote: In antiquity men studied for their own sake; nowadays men study for the sake of impressing others. by author Confucius overlaid on photo of photo of author Confucius with quote

In antiquity men studied for their own sake; nowadays men study for the sake of impressing others.


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