Top 151 Confucius Quotes

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve and bad things are very easy to get.


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


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.


If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.


When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.


It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.


The Man who says he can, and the man who says he can not.. Are both correct


Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.


It is when those who are not strong enough have made some moderate amount of progress that they fail and give up…


If your desire is for good, the people will be good.


Nothing is more visible than things hidden; Nothing is more manifest than things minute; Therefore, the superior man should be aware of his aloneness


If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.


By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.


He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.


The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?


Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.


Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.


The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.”(Analects 2.11)


Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?


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


The wise never doubt. The Humane never worry. The brave never fear.


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


I am not one who was born with great wisdom. I love the ancients and diligently seek wisdom among them.


Wenn du weißt, behaupte, dass du es weißt. Und wenn du etwas nicht weißt, gib zu, dass du es nicht weißt. Das ist Wissen.


Wenn man noch nicht das Leben kennt, wie sollte man den Tod kennen.


Wenn man noch nicht den Menschen dienen kann, wie sollte man den Geistern dienen können?


Am I a man of great wisdom? Hardly! Even when a simple person brings me a question, my mind goes utterly blank, I just thrash it out until I’ve exhausted every possibility.


He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.


We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living


What the superior man seeks is in himself what the small man seeks is in others.


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 hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.


If things far away don’t concern you, you’ll soon mourn things close at hand.


When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.


Don’t grieve when people fail to recognize your ability. Grieve for your lack of ability instead.


If a craftsman wants to do good work, he must first sharpen his tools.


If you want to make a stand, help others make a stand, and if you want to reach your goal, help others reach their goal. Consider yourself and treat others accordingly: this is the method of Humanity.


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


Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.


Learning without thought is labor lost thought without learning is perilous.


To one who is not eager I do not reveal anything, nor do I explain anything to one who is not communicative. If I raise one corner for someone and he cannot come back with the other three, I do not go on.


How can you love people without encouraging them? And how can you be loyal to people without educating them.


The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.


You cannot open a book without learning something.


Where words lose their meaning, people lose their lives.


Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.


If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you’ll keep resentment far away.


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.


What can a man do with music who is not benevolent?


The gentleman understands what is moral. The small man understands what is profitable.


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


A man whose strength gives out collapses along the course. In your case you set the limits beforehand.


To rank the effort above the prize may be called love.


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


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


A legendary horse is praised not for its strength, but for its Integrity.


Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.


Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas.


Naming enables the noble-minded to speak, and speech enables the noble-minded to act. Therefore, the noble-minded are anything but careless in speech.


If I raise one corner for someone and he cannot come back with the other three, I do not go on.


Even when walking in the company of two other men, I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy, the bad points of the other I correct in myself.


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


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


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


cautiously, you avoid trouble. See all that you can – then, if you forget the perilous and


Tsze-kung wished to dispense with the sacrifice of a sheep for the New Moon ceremony. The Master said, “You love the sheep; I love the ceremony.


Ji Wenzi always thought thrice before acting. Hearing this the Master said, “Twice is enough.


The gentleman does not promote people merely on the basis of their words, nor does he reject words merely because of the person who uttered them.


The Master is cordial yet stern, awe-inspiring yet not fierce and respectful yet at ease.


If you look at their intentions, examine their motives, and scrutinize what brings them contentment – how can people hide who they are? How can they hide who they really are?


Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.


The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.


A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?


The noble-minded encourage what is beautiful in people and discourage what is ugly in them. Little people do just the opposite.


The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.”(Analects 4.9)


The Master said, “If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.


The Master said, “The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.”(Analects 4.16)


The Master said, “The gentleman does not serve as a vessel.”(Analects 2.12)


He who is concerned only with the purity of his own life ruins the great human relations.


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


In following the Way, the noble-minded treasure three things: a manner free of violence and arrogance, a countenance full of sincerity and trust, a voice free of vulgarity and impropriety.


He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.


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


The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.


The Master said of Gong Yechang, “He is marriageable. Although he was once imprisoned and branded as a criminal, he was in fact innocent of any crime.” The Master gave him his daughter in marriage.(Analects 5.1)


Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.


To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.


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


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.


Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.


Clever talk, ingratiating looks, fawning reverence: Tso-ch’iu Ming found that shameful, and so do I. Friendly while harboring resentment: Tso-ch’iu Ming found that shameful, too, and so do I.


The grass must bend when the wind blows across it.


Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.


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


The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials.


The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest success comes only later.


To see what is right and not do it is want of courage.


To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.


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


If a man take no thought about what is distant he will find sorrow near at hand.


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


What you do not want others to do to you do not do to others.


The way of a superior man is threefold: Virtuous he is free from anxieties wise he is free from perplexities bold he is free from fear.


Recompense injury with justice and recompense kindness with kindness.


Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.


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


To lead an untrained people to war is to throw them away.


The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest success comes only later.


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


To see what is right and not do it is want of courage.


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.


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


To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons.


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


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


The superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he cleaves to it. In seasons of danger, he cleaves to it.


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.


I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.


The expectations of life depend upon diligence the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.


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 strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.


Death and life have their determined appointments riches and honors depend upon heaven.


How to play music may be known. At the commencement of the piece, all the parts should sound together. As it proceeds, they should be in harmony while severally distinct and flowing without break, and thus on to the conclusion.


Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.


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


He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.


Learning without thought is labor lost thought without learning is perilous.


It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve and bad things are very easy to get.


Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.


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


When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.


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.


There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.


If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?


Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.


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


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


To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.


We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.


Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.


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.


An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.


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.


When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.


The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest success only comes later.


The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.


I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me I will be concerned at my own want of ability.


The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.


Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.


If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.



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