The wise teachings of Confucius set the standard high with regards to morality and the relationships we share with our families, and humanity. So well respected, this Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher’s views on correctness, families and justice were even granted an official sanction and turned into a recognized system called Confucianism.
Despite living some 2,500 years ago, many of his most famous philosophies that have been tried and tested still hold equal weight today. As September 29 is Confucius day, we thought we’d look at some of his most famous teachings that have stood the test of time, and what we can still learn from them.
The Golden Rule
“Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
One of the most basic rules in life. The way we treat others, influences the way they treat us. Our downfall with this can be our need for instant gratification – as results of a good deed may not always be immediate, but we must remember they rarely go unnoticed. However, the point of this rule is not about what you can get, it’s about living an honest and meaningful life where you treat others with kindness and respect.
“If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.”
Everyone who is “someone” whether it be a Hollywood superstar, or the owner of the hot-new restaurant that has Michelin status written all over it – started somewhere. Chances are, they were running around to auditions, or out of kitchens exasperated and feeling inadequate due to their unforgiving boss at some stage. What if they surrendered at the first, second or third rejection? Only to later walk past their local cinema or favorite restaurant saddened they never followed through?
As far as we know, we only get one shot at life, so make that shot count and find what you love and do it! No ifs or buts, just go for it!
Let Go Of The Past
“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
“Things that are done, it is needless to speak about…things that are past, it is needless to blame.”
We’ve all spent hours, and probably even days mentally replaying an event that troubled us, whether it be a confrontation or annoyance with someone else, or a situation where we’ve faced the harshest of critics of all – ourselves.
We all know this only prolongs the pain and does little to solve or reverse the problem, but being the highly analytical humans that we are, (not to mention being easily swayed by our egos) – sometimes we just can’t let go of a situation.
Dropping the past is easier said than just reciting a few quotes, however there are things you can do next time you feel your favorite Past Event Greatest Hits record spinning in your head. Make a pact with yourself to do things differently next time, and ask yourself, “does worrying about the issue change the outcome,” or even “who cares”. These will help you to foster a new attitude where you decide whether to let the past be the past.
Life Can Be So Simple And Beautiful… If Only We Let It..
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
This follows on from the last point, but it’s good to remind yourself of this quote from time-to-time, as it never fails to put things into perspective.
We spend so much time worrying over things that may never happen or being consumed by what our next steps in life must be, that we can get stuck in a reality that isn’t real. The truth is, if we’re honest, work hard, love and respect those around you, be generous with our time and our money and above all, treat everyone with kindness, we will generally get what we want in life. It really can be that simple. Yes, we are confronted with difficult and sometimes unjust situations along the way, but complications within our control often exist only because we create them. Start to welcome simplicity into your life.
With Confucianism becoming popular in China again, let’s hope his teachings continue to filter through the generations for the next 2,500 years to come. If you have a favorite Confucius quote, please share it below.