Confucius (born 28 September 551 BC, Lu – died 11 April 479 BC, Lu) was a Chinese philosopher, poet and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. He is known as the first teacher in China who advocated for education to be broadly available to everyone.
Confucius's teachings and philosophy have profoundly influenced the civilizations of China and other East Asian countries. The philosophy of Confucius, known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, kindness, justice, and sincerity.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. 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. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge. The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. The man who says he can, and the man who says he cannot… are both correct. What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself. 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. If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. When anger rises, think of the consequences. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. Study the past if you would define the future. In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger. Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts? Silence is a true friend who never betrays. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good. The funniest people are the saddest once. The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals; adjust the action steps. Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage. 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. To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it. He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger. He who chases two rabbits, catches none. 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. And remember, no matter where you go, there you are. When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points. The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort. To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family. Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. He who fishes in other man’s well often catches crabs. Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue. You cannot open a book without learning something. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat. Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing. The cautious seldom err. Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life. Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children. We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one. 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. Learn advidly. Question it repeatedly. Analyze it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently. Have no friends not equal to yourself. The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method? Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star. The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. A superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions. I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being. All people are the same; only their habits differ. The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished. It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs. Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes. The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large. He who will not economize will have to agonize. 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. It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them. 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. If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear? Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean. We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression. Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar. Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness. Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does. The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue. Roads were made for journeys not destinations. To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace. No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top. When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself. When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger. Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended. Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more. A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words. 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. Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, it is needless to blame. Learn as if you were not reaching your goal and as though you were scared of missing it. A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door. The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action. Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance. Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs. A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart. To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. If we don’t know life, how can we know death?