120+ Confucius Quotes For A Virtuous Life

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Confucius’ Teachings and Beliefs
  2. Confucius Quotes About Life
  3. Confucius Quotes On Education
  4. Confucius Quotes About Work
  5. Confucius Inspirational Quotes
  6. Wisdom Confucius Quotes
  7. Confucius Famous Quotes
  8. Best Confucius Quotes
  9. Confucius Music Quotes
  10. Confucius Analects Quotes
  11. Confucius Superior Man Quotes
  12. Confucius Says Funny Quotes
  13. Confucius Quotes On Relationships
  14. Confucius Quotes About Success
  15. Confucius Quotes About Learning
  16. Confucius Revenge Quotes
  17. Confucius Quotes About Respect
  18. Confucius Quotes About Government
  19. Confucius Motivational Quotes
  20. Confucius Philosophy Quotes
  21. Confucius Leadership Quotes
  22. Confucius Quotes About Friendship
  23. Confucius Sayings About Love
  24. Confucius Filial Piety Quotes
  25. Confucius Happiness Quotes
  26. Confucius Quotes About Change
  27. Confucius Food Quotes
  28. Confucius Silence
  29. Confucius Advice
  30. Confucius Beauty Quotes
  31. Confucius Quotes About Knowledge
  32. Redd Foxx Confucius Quotes
  33. Dirty Confucius Quotes

Confucious was one of the popular Chinese philosophers, teachers, and political figures known for his ideas that deeply impacted China and other East Asian countries.

He believed in benevolence, knowledge, loyalty, and virtue, which became the guiding principles for China for a number of years.

Confucius quotes, sayings, and teachings concentrated on developing educational standards and correct models of family and public interaction.

Confucius was born as Kongqiu in the West near Qufu in eastern China. Although not much is known about his childhood.

However, as per some records available, Kongs, who belonged to the state of Song, were the early ancestors of Confucius.

Kongs were one of the aristocratic families that gave many important counselors for the state of Song.

However, Kongs lost their wealth and political stature and some of them moved to the state of Lu.

These Kings of Lu were normal men who had no privileges like their ancestors. Thus, Confucius was very open about his family’s position and knew that he would not be able to take entry into government services easily.

This is because the government positions were meant for young men from wealthy families. So, Confucius polished his skills in routine, basic jobs.

Confucius’ Teachings and Beliefs

Confucius himself had a passion for academics from a young age and studied subjects like history, mathematics, and music.

He was of the view that education and thought resulted in righteousness. Further, he believed that individuals who longed for directing others must practice moral authority, love others, and self-discipline.

For instance, Confucius was of the view that ‘loving others’ or ‘ren’ could be practiced if one abides by the following:

“What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.

Much in the same way, his political beliefs too had a base in self-discipline. He was of the view that a person of authority like a leader must be self-disciplined and kind to his supporters. This way, the political leaders would be able to leave a positive impact on the followers.

He believed that political leaders could encourage their followers to abide by the law via virtue and modesty.

In addition to this, Confucius is also known for writing some of the important, conventional Chinese Classics. One of them includes Lunyu or the Analects of Confucius. This contains the philosophical and political beliefs of Confucius and was one of the four books that were put together by his disciples.

Here are some of the best Confucius quotes and sayings that will educate you about leadership, duty, and life in general.

Confucius Quotes About Life

  1. Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
  1. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
  2. Be poor but joyful; be wealthy and love proper conduct.
  3. Do not be concerned that no one recognizes your merits. Be concerned that you may not recognize others’.
  4. I have never seen one who really loves morality or really hates non-morality. If you really loved morality you would not place anything above it. If you really hated non-morality, you would not let it near you.
  5. Is there anyone who has devoted his strength to morality for a single day? I have not seen anyone who has lacked the strength to do so. Perhaps there has been such a case, but I have never seen it.
  6. If you are strict with yourself, your mistakes will be few.

Confucius Quotes On Education

  1. If you study you will not be crude.
  2. If you study but don’t reflect, you’ll be lost. If you reflect but don’t study you’ll get into trouble.

Confucius Quotes About Work

  1. If a gentleman is not serious he will not be held in awe.
  2. One who sets to work on a different strand does damage.
  3. If you listen too much, put aside what seems doubtful, and assert the remainder with care, your mistakes will be few.
  4. If you observe much, put aside what seems dangerous, and act upon the remainder with care, your re- grets will be few.
  5. Few mistakes in speech, few regrets in action – a salary lies therein.

Confucius Inspirational Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.
  3. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
  4. Look at the means a person employs, observe the sources of his conduct, examine what gives him comfort – where can he hide? Where can he hide?
  5. Only the humane person is able to really like others or to really dislike them.
  6. Riches and honors are what all men desire. But if they cannot be attained in accordance with the Way they should not be kept.
  7. Our master’s Way is to be loyal and have a sense of reciprocity, and that’s it.

Wisdom Confucius Quotes

  1. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
  2. 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.
  3. If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.
  4. Study the past if you would define the future.
  5. To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.
  6. The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.
  1. When you make a mistake, do not be afraid of mending your ways.
  2. To act in harmony simply because one understands what is harmonious, but not to regulate one’s conduct according to proper ritual: indeed, one cannot act in that way.
  3. Trustworthiness is close to righteousness: one’s words are tested true.
  4. Reverence is close to proper conduct: it keeps shame and disgrace at a distance.
  5. An ideal moral person is the one who first tries out a pre- cept and only after follows it.
  6. If a noble man departs from his fundamental goodness, how can he be worthy of that name?
  7. A noble man never leaves his fundamental goodness for even the time of a single meal.

Confucius Famous Quotes

  1. The noble man is aware of fairness, the inferior man is aware of advantage

Best Confucius Quotes

  1. People err according to their own level. It is by observing a person’s mistakes that you can know his/her goodness.

Confucius Music Quotes

  1. If a man is not moral, what can he do with rituals? If a man is not moral, what can he do with music?
  2. In my understanding of music, the piece should be begun in unison. Afterwards, if it is pure, clear and without break, it will be perfect.

Confucius Analects Quotes

  1. The nomad and forest peoples who have rulers do not come up to the people of the civilized realm who do not.

Confucius Superior Man Quotes

  1. What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.
  2. If you deal with people by smooth talk, you will soon be disliked.
  3. A man who is ruled by lust, how could he be solid?
  4. A noble man has four characteristics: In his private conduct he is courteous; in serving superiors he is respectful; in providing for the people he is kind; and in employing the people he is fair.
  5. A noble man is good at getting along with people. Even after a long period of acquaintance, he would continue to treat them with respect.
  6. I would like to give comfort to the aged, trust to my friends and nurturance to the young.
  7. ​​Those whose strength is not enough give up halfway. You are now limiting yourself.
  8. Be a noble scholar; don’t be a petty scholar.

Confucius Says Funny Quotes

  1. The funniest people are the saddest ones.

Confucius Quotes On Relationships

  1. No one is perfect, free from error. But when someone makes a mistake in a human relationship, we can tell by the type of mistake, and by the person’s way of dealing with it, what her/his true character is like.

Confucius Quotes About Success

  1. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  2. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
  3. He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.
  4. Promote the deserving and instruct those who fall short, and they will be encouraged to follow the path of virtue.

Confucius Quotes About Learning

  1. If a person is apt in conduct and cautious in speech, stays near those who keep to the behavioral path and corrects himself thereby, he may be said to love learning.
  2. You cannot open a book without learning something.
  3. A person who can bring new warmth to the old while under- standing the new is worthy to take as a teacher.

Confucius Revenge Quotes

  1. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Confucius Quotes About Respect

  1. Respect yourself and others will respect you.
  1. Conduct yourself towards people with dignity, and you will earn their respect.
  2. Devote care to life’s end and pursue respect for the distant dead; in this way, the virtue of the people will return to fullness.
  3. In rituals it would be better to be frugal than to be extravagant. In a funeral ritual it would be bet- ter to be guided by one’s grief than simply to attend to the ritual stipulations.
  4. The ancients were hesitant to speak, fearing that their actions would not do justice to their words.

Confucius Quotes About Government

  1. When one rules by means of virtue it is like the North Star – it dwells in its place and the other stars pay reverence to it.
  2. Guide them with policies and align them with punishments and the people will evade them and have no shame. Guide them with virtue and align them with proper conduct and the people will have a sense of shame and fulfill their roles.
  3. In ruling a country of a thousand chariots there should be scrupulous attention to business, honesty, economy, charity, and employment of the people at the proper season.
  4. A virtuous ruler is like the Pole-star, which keeps its place, while all the other stars do homage to it.
  5. People despotically governed and kept in order by punishments may avoid infraction of the law, but they will lose their moral sense.
  6. People virtuously governed and kept in order by the inner law of self-control will retain their moral sense, and moreover become good.
  7. Promote the upright and dismiss all evil- doers, and the people will be contended.
  8. Promote the evil-doers and dismiss the upright, and the people will be discontented.
  9. Good government consists in providing enough food to eat, in keeping enough soldiers to guard the State, and in winning the confidence of the people.
  10. Let the sovereign do his duty as a sovereign, the subject his duty as a subject, the father his duty as a father, and the son his duty as a son.
  11. To govern is to keep straight. If you lead the people straight, which of your subjects will venture to fall out of line.
  12. The people can be made to follow a certain path, but they cannot be made to know the reason why.
  1. Do your duty as a son and as a brother, and these qualities will make themselves felt in the government.
  2. If you approach people with solemnity they will be respectful; if you are filial and caring they will be loyal; if you raise up the good and instruct those who lack ability they will be persuaded.
  3. Filial, merely be filial, and friends to brothers young and old. To apply this as one’s governance is also to engage in government. Why must there be some purposeful effort to engage in governance?
  4. A person without trustworthiness, who knows what he may do? A carriage without a yoke strap, a cart without a yoke hook: how can you drive them?
  5. To sacrifice to spirits that do not belong to you is to be a toady. To see the right and not do it is to lack courage.
  6. The prince employs his ministers with propriety; the ministers serve their prince with good faith.
  7. If the lord directs his minister with proper conduct, the minister will serve his lord with loyalty.
  8. If you can govern the country by putting propriety first, what else will you need to do? If you can’t govern your country by putting propriety first, how could you even call it propriety?

Confucius Motivational Quotes

  1. Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.
  1. The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.
  2. A moral person does not compete. Yet there is always archery, is there not? They mount the dais bowing and yield- ing, they descend and toast one another. They compete at being moral persons!
  3. As for a neighborhood, it is its morality that makes it beautiful. If you choose to live in a place that lacks morality, how can you grow in wisdom?
  4. I don’t worry about not having a good position; I worry about the means I use to gain position. I don’t worry about being unknown; I seek to be known in the right way.

Confucius Philosophy Quotes

  1. An ideal moral person is inclusive and not a partisan; the small man is a partisan and not inclusive.

Confucius Leadership Quotes

  1. Men of high office who are narrow-minded; propriety without respect and funerals without grief: how can I bear to look at such things?

Confucius Quotes About Friendship

  1. Do not accept as friends anyone who is not as good as you.
  2. Friends, don’t have any doubts about your master failing.
  3. If you are virtuous, you will not be lonely. You will always have friends.
  4. In serving your prince, frequent remonstrance will lead to disgrace. With friends, frequent remonstrance will lead to separation

Confucius Sayings About Love

  1. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
  2. Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.

Confucius Filial Piety Quotes

  1. When the father is alive, observe the son’s intent. When the father dies, observe the son’s conduct.
  2. While parents are alive, serve them according to proper conduct. When they are dead, bury them according to rituals; sacrifice to them according to li.
  3. Being good as a son and obedient as a young man is, perhaps, the root of a man’s character.’
  1. Be a good son and a kind prince, and you will find your people loyal.
  2. Let your mother and father be concerned only for your health.
  3. What is meant by filial piety today is nothing but being able to take care of your parents. But even hounds and horses can require care. Without respectful vigilance, what is the difference?
  4. When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don’t distance yourself from them. Work without complaining.
  5. While your parents are alive, it is better not to travel far away. If you do travel, you should have a precise destination.
  6. Your parents’ age should not be ignored. Sometimes it will be a source of joy, and sometimes it will be a source of apprehension.

Confucius Happiness Quotes

  1. Happiness without license, anguish without injury

Confucius Quotes About Change

  1. If I can hear the Way in the morning, in the evening I can die content.
  2. At first I used to listen to what people said and expect them to act accordingly. Now I listen to what people say and watch what they do.

Confucius Food Quotes

  1. An ideal moral person is not concerned that food fills his belly; he does not seek comfort in his residence.

Confucius Silence

  1. Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

Confucius Advice

  1. If you use every single courtesy while serving your prince, the people will call you a sycophant.
  2. Don’t bother explaining that which has already been done; don’t bother criticizing that which is already gone; don’t bother blaming that which is already past.
  3. The world has certainly lacked the Way for a long time now, but Heaven will use your master to awaken everyone.
  4. If you lack morality you can’t handle long periods of difficulty or long periods of comfort. Humane men are comfortable in morality. The wise take advantage of morality.
  5. If you are really committed to morality, you will not have resentments.
  6. Poverty and low status are what all men hate. But if they cannot be avoided while staying in accordance with the Way, you should not avoid them.
  7. A noble man who is set on the way, but is ashamed of old clothes and coarse food, is not worth consulting.
  8. When the noble man deals with the world he is not prejudiced for or against anything. He does what is Right.
  9. The noble man cares about virtue; the inferior man cares about material things. The noble man seeks discipline; the inferior man seeks favors.
  10. If you do everything with a concern for your own advantage, you will be resented by many people.
  11. The noble man desires to be hesitant in speech, but sharp in action.

Confucius Beauty Quotes

  1. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  2. In the practice of proper conduct, harmony is the key. In the behavioral path of the kings of old, this was the beauty.

Confucius Quotes About Knowledge

  1. To know when you know something, and to know when you don’t know, that’s knowledge.
  2. A man who is diligent, loves to study, and is unashamed to ask questions to his inferiors gets the title of learned.

Redd Foxx Confucius Quotes

  1. The calf of a brindled ox could be all red and have good horns. But even if we decide not to use it, would nature cast it away?

Dirty Confucius Quotes

  1. Rotten wood cannot be carved; dirty earth cannot be used for cement: why bother scolding someone?

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