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Wise words of confucious
September 04, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 1 comment

A collection of Confucius quotes to inspire and motivate you. He was a Chinese teacher, and philosopher. His wisdom still applies to this day.

Confucius (551 – 479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher.

His philosophy emphasized morality, fidelity of social relationships, justice, and sincerity. His thoughts were honored official sanction after the collapse of Qin and continued to be developed into a system in the West called Confucianism.

Confucius’s principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as the groundwork for ideal government.

You’ve probably heard one of his well-known principles—The Golden Rule—hundreds of times:

“Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”

These Confucius quotes well-represent the nature of Confucius’s moral doctrine…

Confucius Quotes

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

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

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

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

“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.”

“Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.”

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”

“Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?”

“Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?”

“It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.”

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

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

“It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.He who excels in study can follow an official career.”

“He who excels in study can follow an official career.”

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

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

“Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

“To love a thing means wanting it to live.”

“To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.”

“In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of.”

“Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, it is needless to blame.”

“Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.”

“Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.”

“Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.”

“The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it.”

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

“The cautious seldom err.”

“Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.”

“It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change.”

“The object of the superior man is truth.”

“The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it not having it, to confess your ignorance.”

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.”

“Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”

“With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.”

“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

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

“The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

“The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.”

“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”

“He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed.”

“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.”

“A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.”

“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”

“I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.”

“They must change who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.”

“Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.”

“Mankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.”

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

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

“When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.”

“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.”

“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.”

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

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

“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.”

“We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves.”

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

“To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue…They are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”

“If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”

“Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.”

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

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”

“There are three things to beware of through life: when a man is young, let him beware of his appetites; when he is middle-aged, of his passions; and when old, of covetousness, especially.”

“When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.”

“When a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.”

“Wealth and rank are what people desire, but unless they be obtained in the right way they may not be possessed.”

“The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, I shall today be uppermost.”

“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.”

“The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.”

“When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.”

“If you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to fear?”

“Study the past if you would divine the future.”

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

“Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may over look it.”

“Do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role.”

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

“Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.”

“Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.”

“Review the old and deducing the new makes a teacher.”

“Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.”

“Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.”

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.”

“Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”

“To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.”

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

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

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

“Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”

“Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.”

“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.”

“Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.”

“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.”

We hope these Confucius quotes put you on a virtuous path! Let us know if there are any of your favorites that we missed!

“The perfecting of one’s self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.” -Confucius

“He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” -Confucius

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.” -Confucius

“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.” -Confucius

“The superior man is modest in his speech, but excels in his actions.” -Confucius

“Silence is the true friend that never betrays.” -Confucius

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Confucius

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” -Confucius

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

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

“Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.” -Confucius

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” -Confucius

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” -Confucius

“The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.” -Confucius

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.” -Confucius

“Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.” -Confucius

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.” -Confucius

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

Tags:Confucius Quotesgrowthlife lessonsQuotes

— Hannah Hutyra

Confucius's words had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. These Confucius quotes represent his sincerity and the nature of his moral doctrine.

Top 20 Wise Quotes Of Confucius

wise words of confucious

68 Confucius Quotes

551 BC - 479 BC

A collection of Confucius quotes to inspire and motivate you. He was a Chinese teacher, and philosopher. His wisdom still applies to this day and he has inspired millions worldwide.

  1. Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness. Confucius
    Kindness



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



  3. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. Confucius
    Beauty



  4. Don't complain about the snow on your neighbour's roof when your own doorstep is unclean. Confucius
    Quote of The Day




  5. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. Confucius
    Funny



  6. Our greatest glory is not in never failing. . .but in raising every time we fall. Confucius
    Failure



  7. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Confucius
    Quotes about Change



  8. If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day in your life. Confucius
    Motivational Quotes for Work



  9. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. Confucius
    Funny Quotes about Life



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



  11. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. Confucius
    Best Motivational Quotes



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



  13. Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius
    Words of Encouragement



  14. Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it. Confucius
    Truth



  15. He who believes he can and he who believes he can't are both usually right. Confucius
    Believe



  16. To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue: gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. Confucius
    Generosity



  17. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Confucius
    Wise



  18. Heaven means to be one with God. Confucius
    God



  19. By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart. Confucius
    Practice



  20. They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Confucius
    Happiness




  21. Words are the voice of the heart. Confucius
    Top Ten Quotes



  22. What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. Confucius
    Meaningful



  23. You can force the people to obey; you cannot force them to understand. Confucius
    Inspiring Others



  24. In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. Confucius
    Wealth



  25. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. Confucius
    Moving Forward



  26. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions. Confucius
    Action



  27. If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you'll keep resentment far away. Confucius
    Quotes to Live By



  28. The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting. Confucius
    Cool



  29. Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue. Confucius
    Bold



  30. Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it. Confucius
    Learning



  31. When anger rises, think of the consequences. Confucius
    Anger



  32. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals; adjust the action steps. Confucius
    Goals



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



  34. A superior man in dealing with the world is not for anything or against anything. He follows righteousness as the standard. Confucius
    Poems about Life



  35. He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection. Confucius
    Inspirational Sayings



  36. Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words. Confucius
    Communication



  37. Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas. Confucius
    Feelings



  38. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Confucius
    Challenges



  39. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance. Confucius
    Encouraging Poems



  40. The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius
    Questioning



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




  42. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire. Confucius
    Proverbs



  43. The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar. Confucius
    Comfort Zone



  44. Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away. Confucius
    Overcoming



WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Confucius - GREATEST QUOTES
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30 Motivational Confucius Quotes That Will Change Your Life

wise words of confucious

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese thought and life. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. This list looks at some of his greatest quotations – all of which are as applicable to us today as they were when he wrote them in the fourth century BC.

1. Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

2. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

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

4. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.

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

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

7. 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.

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

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

10. Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.

11. The cautious seldom err.

12. The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.

13. The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

14. Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, it is needless to blame.

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

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

17. 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.

18. With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.

19. Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.

20. To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.

Contributor: JFrater

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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Here are 30 of Confucius Quotes that will surely motivate you and change your life. Click here to get inspired.

114 Confucius Quotes That Represent His Moral Doctrine

wise words of confucious

Of all that Heaven produces and nourishes, there is none so great as man.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Ceremonies are the first thing to be attended to in the practice of government.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

From the loving example of one family a whole State may become loving, and from its courtesies, courteous; while from the ambition and perverseness of the one man the whole State may be thrown into rebellious disorder. Such is the nature of influence.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

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

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are something to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honors are something to be ashamed of.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

It cannot be when the root is neglected that what springs from it will be well ordered.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The virtuous will be sure to speak uprightly; but those whose speech is upright may not be virtuous.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Man is born for uprightness. If a man lose his uprightness and yet live, his escape from death is mere good fortune.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The sun and moon shine on all without partiality.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The inner nature of man is the province of music.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

There is good government when those who are near are made happy, and when those who are afar are attracted.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The superior man, while his parents are alive, reverently nourishes them; and, when they are dead, reverently sacrifices to them. His thought to the end of his life is how not to disgrace them.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

If a man be under the influence of anger his conduct will not be correct.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Sincerity is the way of heaven.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with virtue.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Virtue is more to a man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

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

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The small man thinks that small acts of goodness are of no benefit, and does not do them; and that small deeds of evil do no harm, and does not refrain from them. Hence, his wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed, and his guilt so great that it cannot be pardoned.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

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

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Even in killing men, observe the rules of propriety.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

By the ruler's cultivation of his own character there is set up the example of the course which all should pursue.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

When superiors are fond of showing their humanity, inferiors try to outstrip one another in their practice of it.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

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

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

He who keeps danger in mind will rest safely in his seat.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Have no friends not equal to yourself.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

It was by music that the ancient kings gave elegant expression to their joy. By their armies and axes they gave the same to their anger.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Although your father and mother are dead, if you propose to yourself any good work, only reflect how it will make their names illustrious, and your purpose will be fixed.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

If I hear the way of truth in the morning, I am content even to die in the evening.

The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path.

CONFUCIUS, The Doctrine of the Mean

Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.

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

The way of Heaven and Earth may be completely declared in one sentence: They are without any doubleness, and so they produce things in a manner that is unfathomable.

CONFUCIUS, The Doctrine of the Mean

Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.

To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

Heaven begat Virtue in me; what can man do unto me?

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

Learn, as if never overtaking your object, and yet as if apprehensive of losing it.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this. In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no situation in which he is not himself.

CONFUCIUS, The Doctrine of the Mean

When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal.

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.

CONFUCIUS, Sayings of Confucius

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 15 Wise Quotes From Confucius, Mencius and Xunzi

This is a collection of Confucius quotes to put his wisdom at your finger tips. Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher with a knack for nailing .

wise words of confucious
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