By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.
Not to mend the fault one has made is to err indeed.
What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
Keep what you say and carry out what you do.
The superior man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by their friendship helps his virtue.
The commander of the forces of a large State may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.
A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?
Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?
Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?
While a man’s father is alive, look at the bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.
I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.
In the Book of Poetry are three hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one sentence– “Having no depraved thoughts.”
The Kwan Tsu is expressive of enjoyment without being licentious, and of grief without being hurtfully excessive.
While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes.
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practises it will have neighbors.
At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.
Incomparable indeed was Hui! A handful of rice to eat, a gourdful of water to drink, living in a mean street. Others would have found it unendurably depressing, but to Hui’s cheerfulness it made no difference at all. Incomparable indeed was Hui.
The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in hills. The wise are active; the virtuous are tranquil. The wise are joyful; the virtuous are long-lived.
It passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!
He did not dislike to have his rice finely cleaned, nor to have his minced meat cut quite small.
Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.
If a man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.
There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers, are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness.
Of all people, girls and servants are the most difficult to behave to. If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are discontented.