20 Amazing Confucius Quotes

You’ve all heard a Confucius quote at some point in your life. Some totally resonate with you while others not so much. Before we get into some of the best quotes, let’s first have a look at who this Confucius guy really is.

According to Wikipedia (and several other sites), he was born in 551 BC and died in 479 BC. This is one thing that most historians agree upon. The rest of his story differentiates slightly depending on what site you are reading but one thing remains constant throughout, it is still difficult to determine fact from legend.

What we do know is the fact that he was a teacher, editor, politician and philosopher. “The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity”.

He was a bit of a big deal in his time. There is, obviously, much more to learn about him but for the purpose of this article, we will just get right into sharing his quotes instead of his life. (His story is quite interesting if you ever want to read up on him).

Without further ado, here are 20 of Confucius’s amazing quotes:

  1. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  2. To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.
  3. Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.
  4. The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
  5. Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society.
  6. The small man thinks that small acts of goodness are of no benefit, and does not do them; and that small deeds of evil do no harm, and does not refrain from them. Hence, his wickedness becomes so great that it cannot be concealed, and his guilt so great that it cannot be pardoned.
  7. Respect yourself and others will respect you.
  8. If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.
  9. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
  10. It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.
  11. When anger rises, think of the consequences.
  12. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  13. To put the world right 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

. 14. Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest. 15. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 16. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. 17. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. 18. When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. 19. Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. 20. 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.

In my opinion, these are just some of the greatest quotes from the great Chinese philosopher himself.

If you take a minute to really read each one with sincerity and an open mind, you will surely find one or two that will have a deep meaning for you. So many of us quickly gloss over quotes and affirmations but never really take the time to stop for one minute and think about what we just read.

Take #11 for example. When anger rises, think of the consequences.

Remember in the heat of the moment, when we lash out and say horrible hurtful things, it doesn’t matter how many times you say sorry, the brokenness and hurt will never be repaired. Watch your anger, watch your words. You can’t take them back. Ever. Forgive others, just as you would forgive yourself.

If we live by and adopt all of Confucius’ quotes, this world would be a beautiful peaceful loving place to be. How about for today, practice one of his quotes and live by it for the day. Then tomorrow, pick another one. Continue this pattern and soon you will have more peace in your life.

If you loved these quotes, you'd also love to check out 20 quotes that can help you change your life.

What is your favourite Confucius quote? Share with other readers.