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Friday, August 5, 2011

Confucius Confirms Continuity

Young Confucius

Confucius was born September 28, 551 BC.  The first thing that strikes me on reading some of his quotations is how little observations regarding humanity need to change over diverse cultures or multiple centuries.  Consider the following quotations from Confucius:

·        Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
·        Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
·        Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
·        He who will not economize will have to agonize.
·        I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
·        It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
·        Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
·        Respect yourself and others will respect you.
·        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.
·        When anger rises, think of the consequences.
·        By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

The basic human predicament seems to be not the lack of savvy wisdom in theory but the want of rigorous application in practice.

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