Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Confucius Says...

By Wayne Mansfield

Whilst reading Michael Masterson's Early to Rise, I came across reference to a little booklet called "A Collection of Confucius's Sayings," and found these maxims you might find useful:

There is a single saying that can govern one's life. It is expressed with the word shu, which means never do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

He who is able to put five sorts of morals into practice in this world may be called good. The five are courtesy, breadth, good faith, diligence, and clemency.

The great man understands what is right. The petty man understands what is profitable.

When you see a good man, think of emulating him. When you see a bad man, examine yourself.

When honesty overbalances refinement, crudeness results. When refinement overbalances honesty, there is superficiality. Only when refinement and honesty are duly balanced will the great man emerge.

Set your heart upon the Way, support yourself by virtue, lean upon goodness, and seek distraction in the arts.

With coarse food to eat, cold water to drink, and the bended arm as a pillow, happiness may still exist.

The true gentleman is conciliatory but not accommodating. The common man is accommodating but not conciliatory.

The demands that a great man makes are on himself; those of a petty man are upon others.

There are nine things of which great men must be mindful: to see when they look; to hear when they listen; to be gentle in appearance; to be respectful in manners; to be faithful in words; to be earnest in service; to inquire when in doubt; to think when in anger; to be just when they have an advantage.
And while you wonder at the wisdom from a Chinese philosopher from thousands of years ago, what about considering some wisdom about teeth...

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