Inspiring Confucius Quotes
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ― Confucius
Confucius (September 28, 551 – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.
Confucius’s principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”, the Golden Rule. His words and thoughts still have significance in this modern world.
One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Confucian ethics may therefore be considered a type of virtue ethics.
Confucius’ teachings were later turned into an elaborate set of rules and practices by his numerous disciples and followers, who organized his teachings into the Analects. Confucius’ disciples and his only grandson, Zisi, continued his philosophical school after his death. These efforts spread Confucian ideals to students who then became officials in many of the royal courts in China, thereby giving Confucianism the first wide-scale test of its dogma. Burdened by the loss of both his son and his favorite disciples, he died at the age of 71 or 72.
The thoughts of Confucius were further developed and codified by two important philosophers, Mencius (or Mengzi) and Xunzi (or Hsun Tzu). Whilst both believed that man’s sense of morality and justice separated him from the other animals, Mencius expounded the belief that human nature is essentially good whilst Xunzi, although not of an opposite position, was slightly more pessimistic about human nature and he, therefore, stressed the importance of education and ritual to keep people on the right moral track.