Confucius quotes

Born
September 28, 551 BC, Nanxinzhen, Qufu, Shandong, China.

Died
479 BC.

Occupation
Teacher, editor, politician, philosopher.

Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
– Confucius
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
– Confucius
The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
– Confucius
When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
– Confucius
To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
– Confucius
To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
– Confucius
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
– Confucius
Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.
– Confucius
If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
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
If we don’t know life, how can we know death?
– Confucius
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
– Confucius
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
– Confucius
The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.
– Confucius
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
– Confucius
The object of the superior man is truth.
– Confucius
Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.
– Confucius
Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
– Confucius
I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being.
– Confucius
Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
– Confucius
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.
– 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
I will not be concerned at other men’s not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability.
– Confucius
To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.
– Confucius
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.
– Confucius
Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.
– Confucius
Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known.
– Confucius
I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.
– Confucius
The cautious seldom err.
– Confucius
The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
– Confucius
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
– Confucius
Heaven means to be one with God.
– Confucius
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
– Confucius
If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?
– Confucius
A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
– Confucius
You cannot open a book without learning something.
– Confucius
Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.
– Confucius
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
– Confucius
He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
– Confucius
Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.
– Confucius
The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.
– Confucius
An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.
– Confucius
To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be announced. To those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be announced.
– Confucius
When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.
– Confucius
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
– Confucius
The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
– Confucius
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
– Confucius
The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
– Confucius
Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
– Confucius
He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
– Confucius
To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
– Confucius
Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.
– Confucius
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
– Confucius
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
– Confucius
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
– Confucius
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
– Confucius
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
– Confucius
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
– Confucius
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
– Confucius
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.
– Confucius
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
– Confucius
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
– Confucius