From the loving example of one family a whole State may become loving, and from its courtesies, courteous; while from the ambition and perverseness of the one man the whole State may be thrown into rebellious disorder. Such is the nature of influence.
First there must be order and harmony within your own mind. Then this order will spread to your family, then to the community, and finally to your entire kingdom. Only then can you have peace and harmony.
If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer.
Know what you know and know that you don't know what you don't know -- that is the characteristic of one who knows.
The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied: which one of these things belongs to me?
The gentleman calls attention to the good points in others; he does not call attention to their defects. The small man does just the reverse of this.
The gentleman is calm and at ease. The gentleman is dignified but not proud; the small man is proud but not dignified.
A gentleman can see a question from all sides without bias. The small man is biased and can see a question only from one side.
The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.
The person who is not strong enough gives up at the halfway point -- but you are limiting yourself before even starting.
But if you do not have the Tao yourself, what business have you spending your time in vain efforts to bring corrupt politicians into the right path?
If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one's entire life, perhaps it would be 'thoughtfulness.
To study and constantly, is this not a pleasure? To have friends come from far away places, is this not a joy? If people do not recognize your worth, but this does not worry you, are you not a true gentleman?
The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.
Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few.
Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few. See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful in acting on the rest and your causes for regret will be few. Speaking without fault, acting without causing regret: 'upgrading' consists in this.
Man is born for uprightness. If a man lose his uprightness and yet live, his escape from death is mere good fortune.
If I give a student one-fourth of what he should know, I expect him to get the other three-fourths himself, otherwise I do not want him as a student.
The main object of conciliation lies in reaching a solution to a case based upon morals and with a warm heart.
Yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth, good and evil...the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe.
If I cannot get men who steer a middle course to associate with, I would far rather have the impetuous and hasty. For the impetuous at any rate assert themselves.
Exemplary people concern themselves with virtue,
small people concern themselves with territory. The ruling class
thinks of punishment, the lower classes hope for benevolence.
Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone might be looking. Hear and you forget, see and you remember, do and you understand.
I daily examine myself on three points: In planning for others, have I failed in conscientiousness? In intercourse with friends, have I been insincere? And have I failed to practice what I have been taught?
The general of a large army may be defeated, but you cannot defeat the determined mind of a peasant.
While the gentleman cherishes benign rule, the small man cherishes his native land. While the gentleman cherishes a respect for the law, the small man cherishes generous treatment.
Make faithfulness and truth thy masters: have no friends unlike thyself: be not ashamed to mend thy faults.
When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don't distance yourself from them. Work without complaining.
When a man is guided by the principles of reciprocity and consciousness, he is not far from the moral law. Whatever you don't wish for yourself don't do unto others.
When the multitude detests a man, inquiry is necessary; when the multitude likes a man, inquiry is equally necessary.
To rein a kingdom efficiently it is necessary, before all, to put into good order the family. It's impossible for a man who doesn't know how to lead his own family to know how to lead a country.
Just as lavishness leads easily to presumption, so does frugality to meanness. But meanness is a far less serious fault than presumption.
Things have their roots and branches. Affairs have their beginnings and their ends. To know what is first and what is last will lead one near the Way.
Don't worry if you have no position: worry about making yourself worthy of one. Don't worry if you aren't known and admired: devote yourself to a life that deserves admiration.
If a man has no humaneness what can his propriety be like? If a man has no humaneness what can his happiness be like?
A gentleman considers justice to be essential in everything. He practices it according to the principles of propriety. He brings it forth in modesty and faithfully completes it. This is indeed a gentleman.
When you have become one with the Great Universal, you will have no partiality, and when you are part of the process of transformation, you will have no rigidity.
Guide them by edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame. Guide them by virtue, keep them in line with the rites, and they will, besides having a sense of shame, reform themselves.
Slater soaks into the mind as water into low and marshy places, where it becomes stagnant and offensive.
If there were an honorable way to get rich, I'd do it, even if it meant being a stooge standing around with a whip. But there isn't an honorable way, so I just do what I like.
How transcendent is the virtue of the middle conduct! Rare for a long time has been its practice among the people.
There are three marks of a superior man: being virtuous, he is free from anxiety; being wise, he is free from perplexity; being brave, he is free from fear.
Possessed of courage but devoid of morality, a superior man will make trouble while a small man will be a brigand.
The superior man... does not set his mind either for or against anything, he will pursue whatever is right. The superior man thinks of virtue, the common man of comfort.
A superior man in dealing with the world is not for anything or against anything. He follows righteousness as the standard.
The superior man will watch over himself when he is alone. He examines his heart that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause of dissatisfaction with himself.
The superior man, extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, may thus likewise not overstep what is right.
The superior man is anxious lest he should not get the truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him.
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.
When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path.
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.
The way of the superior man may be compared to what takes place in traveling, when to go to a distance we must first traverse the space that is near, and in ascending a height, when we must begin from the lower ground.
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.
The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.
The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this. In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position.
If doing what ought to be done be made the first business and success a secondary consideration -- is not this the way to exalt virtue?
The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.
To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. When you say something, say what you know. When you don't know something, say you don't know. That is knowledge.
To take what you know for what you know, and what you do not know for what you do not know, that is knowledge indeed.
Do not wish for quick results, nor look for small advantages. If you seek quick results, you will not reach the ultimate goal. If you are led astray by small advantages, you will never accomplish great things.
To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence; and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude.
To be fond of learning is to draw close to wisdom. To practice with vigor is to draw close to benevolence. To know the sense of shame is to draw close to courage. He who knows these three things knows how to cultivate his own character. Knowing how to cultivate his own character, he knows how to govern other men. Knowing how to govern other men, he knows how to govern the world, its states, and its families.
To know that one knows what one knows, and to know that one doesn't know what one doesn't know, there lies true wisdom.
The superior man, even when he is not moving, has a feeling of reverence, and while he speaks not, he has the feeling of truthfulness.
There is the love of knowing without the love of learning; the beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind.
Coarse rice to eat, water to drink, my bended arm for a pillow -- therein is happiness. Wealth and rank attained through immoral means are nothing but drifting clouds.
With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bent arm for a pillow -- I have still joy in the midst of all these things.
If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.
It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.
While they have not got their aims, their anxiety is how to get them. When they have got them, their anxiety is lest they should lose them.
Reviewing the day's lessons. Isn't it joyful? Friends come from far. Isn't it delightful? One has never been angry at other's misunderstanding. Isn't he a respectable man?
Tea tempers the spirits and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness, lightens or refreshes the body, and clears the perceptive faculties.
The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come.
The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.
He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.
He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.
Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
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.
The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall today be uppermost.
A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
The most beautiful sight in the world is a little child going confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way.
There are three things against which the wise man guards: lust when young, quarrels when strong, and covetousness when old.
Base yourself in loyalty and trust. Don't be companion with those who are not your moral equal. When you make a mistake, don't hesitate to correct it.
Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.
When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.
I do not want a friend who smiles when I smile, who weeps when I weep; for my shadow in the pool can do better than that.
No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
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