Understanding China is to know Confucius

Distinguished Chinese philosopher, Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC), is known for his wisdom and diverse teachings. Centuries later, he remains a significant figure in fields such as education, politics, society, and business. Join us in discovering his principles and the legacy he has left behind.

Chinese civilization not only stands out for its ancient culture but also for its contributions to humanity, including knowledge and a way of life.

The teachings of Confucius – Who was this philosopher?

Confucius, the most renowned Chinese philosopher, imparted relevant teachings that continue to be relevant today. In many countries, Confucianism is seen as a way of life based on his wisdom and interpretation of the universe: it is governed by the cosmos and is in harmony with its rules.

During Confucius’ time, China, under the Zhou dynasty, was going through a profound spiritual crisis. Confucius’s contributions to the emperor created a new ethical and moral code.

The philosopher’s main thoughts

Among the teachings or wisdom of the philosopher, the following stand out:

  • Vocation as a way of life. Confucius believed that a person should make their work as a vocation and, therefore, their way of life. Only then could one achieve true happiness.
  • Embrace a time of reflection. Silence is the great friend that is always by your side to give you the best advice.
  • Education is progress. Another of Confucius’s principles revolves around education. Through education, there will be no more class distinctions.
  • Abandon vices. Vices are passing distractions that visit us to waste our time. Willpower is our best ally to keep them away from us.

Confucius’ quotes: Basic lessons

Here are some quotes from Confucius that form the foundation of his legacy:

  1. “Learn to live, and you will know how to die well.” Make the most of your time; it is precious.
  2. “Study the past if you would define the future.” To create the future, you must know how your ancestors lived and learn from their mistakes.
  3. “When you see a good man, think of emulating him. When you see a bad man, examine your heart.” Do not make empty judgments of others.
  4. “If the goal seems unreachable, do not change the goal; change the approach to reach it.” Remember the reason you set those goals.
  5. “Never make a wager. If you know you will win, you are a cheat… And if you don’t know, you are a fool.” This quote speaks of unnecessary distractions.

Relevance in the present:

Apart from being a renowned philosopher, Confucius was also an educator. Hence, he emphasized four key points: knowledge, behaviour, loyalty, and justice as ways of life.

His teachings have also been reflected in his most famous golden rule: “Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you.”

In this regard, it speaks of how people should relate to ensure the proper functioning of society and how leaders must fulfil their mission without making mistakes.

Furthermore, in addition to knowledge, Confucius advocates for reflection and moderation in human behaviour.

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