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55+ Motivational Confucius Quotes about Life, Knowledge and Politics

55+ Motivational Confucius Quotes about Life, Knowledge and Politics

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and teacher. His political theories are known as Confucianism. He was born at the end of the Chinese era commonly known as the spring and autumn period, in the Chinese state, Lu (current Shandong).

His father died when he was very young. Confucius skilled himself in very menial things as he belonged to a very underprivileged background. He got his early education from the school of commoners, where he learned and mastered the “six arts” (6 disciplines of rites, music, archery, literacy, mathematics, and calligraphy).

In his early 20’s he did many government jobs as a librarian and as a caretaker for sheep and horses. In 501 BC, he got the menial position of the governor of the town.

13 Confucius Political Quotes & Sayings

Confucius believed that power should be given to those who are virtuous. He wanted to dedicate his life to his homeland. Though his political career was successful but very fleet which ended because of Confucius’s disagreement with the ruler, he continued to serve the nation through his preaching.

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

  2. “Political necessities sometimes turn out to be political mistakes.” – Confucius

  3. “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” – Confucius

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

  5. “Confucius say… politician is one who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.” – Confucius

  6. “But if you do not have the Tao yourself, what business have you spending your time in vain efforts to bring corrupt politicians into the right path?” – Confucius

  7. “The wise man desires to be slow to speak but quick to act.” – Confucius

  8. “It may be assumed as an axiom that Providence has never gifted any political party with all of the political wisdom or blinded it with all of the political folly.” – Confucius

  9. “War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.” – Confucius

  10. “Hatred is not contained in political thinking. Any hatred worked up against the public enemy is non-political, and always shows some weakness in the internal political situation.” – Confucius

  11. “He who has really set his mind on virtue will do no evil.” – Confucius

  12. “Music is more difficult – try naming a political band. The Dead Kennedys. The Dead Kennedys are political, but they are funnier than they are political. I don’t believe there can be a poetic novel without political consciousness. I have a strong political conscience.” – Confucius

  13. “All the great political music was made at the height of political confrontations.” – Confucius

27 Confucius to Convert Your Knowledge into True Wisdom

He knew the worth of gaining knowledge therefore, he kept on getting insights from renowned scholars of the time. He opened his own school when he was 22, at that moment, China was going through ideological turmoil.

His main concerns include not only gaining knowledge but wisdom also. According to him, “We may learn wisdom first, by reflection which is noblest, second, by imitation which is easiest and third, by experience which is bitterest.”

  1. “Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?” – Confucius

  2. “At home, a young man should be a good son, when outside he should treat others as his brothers, his behavior should be one of trustworthy and proper, and should love the multitude at large and keep himself close to people of benevolence and morality. If after all these activities, he has any energy to spare, he should read widely to stay cultivated.” – Confucius

  3. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

  4. “He who excels in the study can follow an official career.” – Confucius

  5. “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” – Confucius

  6. “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.” – Confucius

  7. “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

  8. “It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.” – Confucius

  9. “When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.” – Confucius

  10. “The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.” – Confucius

  11. “Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.” – Confucius

  12. “When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.” – Confucius

  13. “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” – Confucius

  14. “Do not do to others what you do not want to be done to yourself.” – Confucius

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

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

  17. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

  18. “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

  19. “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

  20. “If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years educate children.” – Confucius

  21. “The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t are both correct.” – Confucius

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

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

  24. “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

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

  26. “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” – Confucius

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

Confucius was one of the greatest teachers of Chinese history. He believed that a teacher should be a role model and should practice what he preaches.

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17 Inspirational Confucius Quotes About Morality

Individual moral ethics: He believed that every individual should have a sense of self-legislation, as it is the only way to cultivate moral values in society otherwise they forget the difference between good and evil leading to a morally dead society that can never nourish. According to him, fear of punishment can help prevent crimes but it will not help to change the criminal mindset. Confucius wanted his nation to be stout morally.

  1. “If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer.” – Confucius

  2. “A man may not transgress the bounds of major morals, but may make errors in minor morals.” – Confucius

  3. “Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.” – Confucius

  4. “Possessed of courage but devoid of morality, a superior man will make trouble while a small man will be a brigand.” – Confucius

  5. “He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.” – Confucius

  6. “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

  7. “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.” – Confucius

  8. “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.” – Confucius

  9. “Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?” – Confucius

  10. “Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?” – Confucius

  11. “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

  12. “We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.” – Confucius

  13. “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” – Confucius

  14. “Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.” – Confucius

  15. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

  16. “To love a thing means wanting it to live.” – Confucius

  17. “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” – Confucius

Governmental moral ethics: Besides emphasizing individual moral ethics, Confucius wanted the government to doctrine moral ethics of faithfulness, truthfulness, and excellence in action.

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Confucius Basic Learnings

As a philosopher and a teacher, Confucius emphasized 3 major values that are a tripod on which any culture can halt stable which include:

  • Filial Piety (respect for Parents)
  • Humaneness (care and concern for other human beings)
  • Ritual consciousness (the proper way to do things in the deepest means)

In summary

Confucius was a man of principles who wanted his nation to rise morally and culturally. He wanted his nation to practice moral ethics individually and on the governmental level. He played a vital role when Chinese ideology was in great chaos.

Do you think Confucianism is beyond any religion and culture and everyone can learn from his preaching? Let us know your thoughts on Confucianism by commenting below.

Roy Sloan

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

I heard about Confucianism once and from that day I am big fan of him. I really loved his motivational sayings & still wonder whether philosophers like him will even born again?

Hassan Saleem

Friday 6th of November 2020

Hey Roy,

We believe that Confucius was one of the greatest philosopher of all time and world produce such people rarely. Though we have a firm believe that every era/century have their own wise philosophers; try to read about David Chalmers, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit & John McDowell. We believe that you will love their teachings and philosophies.

Thanks Hassan