Confucius said, “If you don’t have humaneness, you can’t deal with long stretches of hardship or long stretches of comfort. A humane person feels at home with humaneness. The merely clever seek humaneness because they think it will help them get ahead.”


Confucius said, “Everyone wants money and fame, but if you can’t get them by following the Way, don’t go after them. Everyone hates being broke and disgraced, but if that’s what you get for following the Way, then don’t reject it.

“If a noble person abandons humaneness, how can they be worthy of being called a noble person? A noble person doesn’t abandon humaneness, even for the space of a meal. A noble person clings to humaneness, even in times of rushing or crisis.”


Confucius said, “I’ve never met a man who loved humaneness and hated what is not humane. If you love humaneness, you’ll put nothing above it. If you hate what is not humane, you won’t let it near you.

“Are there people who can devote all their strength to humaneness, even for one day? Well, I’ve never met anyone who lacked the strength to do it, anyway. Maybe there are people like that, but I haven’t met them.


Confucius said, “Don’t worry because you don’t have a position. Worry about having what it takes to have a position.

“Don’t worry about not being well-known. Worry about being worthy of being well-known.”


Confucius said, “Zeng Can, my Way has a single thread running through it.”

Zeng Can replied, “Yes.”

After Confucius left, the other students asked, “What did he mean by that?”

Zeng Can replied, “Our teacher’s way is just to be sincere and fair.”


Confucius said, “When you see a good person, think of becoming their equal. When you see someone who is not worthy, turn back and look at yourself.”


Confucius said, “When you serve your parents, it’s okay to gently correct them. If you see that they don’t want to listen, though, be respectful. Continue working for their benefit and don’t complain.”


Ziyou said, “If you’re overbearing with your ruler, you’ll be disgraced. If you’re overbearing with your friends, they’ll become distant.”