All Time Famous Confucius Quotes

Confucius Quotes

Confucius, also known as Kong Fuzi or Kongzi, was a Chinese philosopher and teacher whose ideas have deeply influenced East Asian culture. He lived during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, around 551-479 BCE. Confucius’s teachings focused on ethics, morality, social harmony, and proper conduct in personal and public life.

Key concepts in Confucianism include:

Ren (仁): Often translated as “benevolence” or “humaneness,” ren is a central virtue in Confucianism. It refers to the quality of compassion, kindness, and empathy in human interactions.

Li (礼): Li can be translated as “ritual” or “propriety.” It encompasses the proper conduct, rituals, and social ceremonies that help maintain social order and harmony.

Xiao (孝): This concept refers to filial piety or the virtue of respect and obedience to one’s parents and ancestors. Filial piety is considered a fundamental building block for social harmony.

Yi (义): Yi can be translated as “righteousness” or “justice.” It emphasizes moral disposition and the right course of action in various situations.

Zhi (智): Zhi refers to wisdom or knowledge. Confucius believed in the importance of education and continuous learning for personal and societal improvement.

Xin (信): Xin means honesty or integrity. It involves sincerity and truthfulness in one’s words and actions.

Confucius’s thoughts were compiled and written down by his disciples, and the resulting collection is known as the “Analects” or “Lunyu.” His teachings have had a profound and enduring impact on Chinese philosophy, ethics, and social structure. Confucianism became a cornerstone of Chinese culture, influencing not only philosophy but also politics, education, and interpersonal relationships. Despite various political changes throughout history, Confucianism has remained a significant force in shaping the values and traditions of East Asian societies.

Confucius Quotes

1. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
— Confucius

2. “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.”
— Confucius

3. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
— Confucius

4. “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
— Confucius

5. “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
— Confucius

6. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
— Confucius

7. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
— Confucius

8. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
— Confucius

9. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
— Confucius

10. “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
— Confucius

11. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
— Confucius

12. “If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”
— Confucius

13. “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”
— Confucius

14. “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”
— Confucius

15. “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
— Confucius

16. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”
— Confucius

17. “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”
— Confucius

18. “You cannot open a book without learning something.”
— Confucius

19. “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
— Confucius

20. “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
— Confucius

21. “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.”
— Confucius

22. “Knowledge without practice is useless. Practice without knowledge is dangerous.”
— Confucius

23. “Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”
— Confucius

24. “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

25. “Study the past if you want to define the future.”
— Confucius

26. “He who chases two rabbits, catches none.”
— Confucius

27. “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”
— Confucius

28. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
— Confucius

29. “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
— Confucius

30. “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
— Confucius

31. “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

32. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”
— Confucius

33. “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.”
— Confucius

34. “When anger rises, think of the consequences.”
— Confucius

35. “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
— Confucius

36. “It is better to light one small candle of gratitude than to curse the darkness.”
— Confucius

37. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
— Confucius

38. “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.”
— Confucius

39. “He who learns but does not think, is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
— Confucius

40. “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.”
— Confucius

41. “Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.”
— Confucius

42. “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”
— Confucius

43. “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”
— Confucius

44. “If what one has to say is not better than silence, then one should keep silent.”
— Confucius

45. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
— Confucius

46. “A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top.”
— Confucius

47. “To see what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.”
— Confucius

48. “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

49. “A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.”
— Confucius

50. “The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.”
— Confucius

51. “Charity, like the sun, brightens every object on which it shines.”
— Confucius

52. “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
— Confucius

53. “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”
— Confucius

54. “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”
— Confucius

55. “What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.”
— Confucius

56. “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
— Confucius

57. “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.”
— Confucius

58. “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
— Confucius

59. “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

60. “Have no friends not equal to yourself.”
— Confucius

61. “The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.”
— Confucius

62. “Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.”
— Confucius

63. “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

64. “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

65. “Behind every smile there’s teeth.”
— Confucius

66. “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”
— Confucius

67. “He who requires much from himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the object of resentment.”
— Confucius

68. “Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.”
— Confucius

69. “Time flows away like the water in the river.”
— Confucius

70. “The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.”
— Confucius

71. “The Essence of Knowledge is, having it, to use it.”
— Confucius

72. “Riches and honor are what everyone desires, but if they can be gained only by doing evil, they must not be held. Don’t worry about not being in office, worry about qualifying yourself for office. Don’t worry that no one knows you, but seek to be worthy of being known.”
— Confucius

73. “The funniest people are the saddest once.”
— Confucius

74. “The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.”
— Confucius

75. “By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”
— Confucius

76. “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”
— Confucius

77. “True goodness springs from a man’s own heart. All men are born good.”
— Confucius

78. “A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.”
— Confucius

79. “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

80. “Shall I teach you what knowledge? When you know a thing, say that you know it; when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge.”
— Confucius

81. “Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”
— Confucius

82. “The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.”
— Confucius

83. “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”
— Confucius

84. “The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.”
— Confucius

85. “The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.”
— Confucius

86. “To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.”
— Confucius

87. “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”
— Confucius

88. “If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”
— Confucius

89. “Knowledge is merely brilliance in organization of ideas and not wisdom. The truly wise person goes beyond knowledge.”
— Confucius

90. “One joy dispels a hundred cares.”
— Confucius

91. “Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”
— Confucius

92. “If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be ’thoughtfulness.”
— Confucius

93. “Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.”
— Confucius

94. “The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.”
— Confucius

95. “Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”
— Confucius

96. “They must often change who would remain constant in happiness and wisdom.”
— Confucius

97. “A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?”
— Confucius

98. “No lake so still but it has its wave. No circle so perfect but that it has its blur. I would change things for you if I could; As I can’t you must take them as they are.”
— Confucius

99. “We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy than in endeavoring to think so ourselves.”
— Confucius

100. “Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.”
— Confucius

101. “Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.”
— Confucius

102. “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.”
— Confucius

103. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
— Confucius

104. “Truth does not depart from human nature. If what is regarded as truth departs from human nature, it may not be regarded as truth.”
— Confucius

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