A Top 10 list of the best Confucius quotes, plus a profile of this ancient philosopher.
Profile: Not a lot is known for certain about him, but Confucius was born in 551BC in Lu, China (now Shandong province)
Reportedly born into a poor family, his father died when he was 3. He started his teaching career around 30 and rose to a high position in government.
Becoming disillusioned he travelled the eastern states of China for around 10-12 years gaining respect from state rulers.
Confucius returned home to teach and write but his political ideals were not implemented in his lifetime. After he died in 479BC his teachings were gathered together by his disciples and his philosophy went on to dominate Chinese life from 124AD to 1906.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling
but in rising every time we fall."
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."
"The more man meditates upon good thoughts,
the better will be his world and the world at large."
"Words are the voice of the heart."
"If I am walking with two other men,
each of them I 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."
"You cannot open a book without learning something."
"Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things."
"They must often change,
who would be constant in happiness or wisdom."
"The perfecting of one's self is
the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development."
"To practice five things under all circumstances
constitutes perfect virtue;
these five are gravity, generosity of soul,
sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."
"Wisdom, compassion, and courage
are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men."
"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without."
"I hear, I know. I see, I remember.
I do, I understand."
"There are three methods to gaining wisdom.
The first is reflection, which is the highest.
The second is limitation, which is the easiest.
The third is experience, which is the bitterest."
"Silence is a true friend who never betrays."
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