Top 50 Best Quotes from Confucianism

Picture of Confucius

Confucius Quotes: The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, the correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius’s thoughts received official sanction in the new government. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later New Confucianism (Modern Neo-Confucianism).

Common Quetions about Confucius

What are the 5 virtues of Confucianism?

Within Confucianism there are five constant virtues or wu chang (五常). In descending order of importance, the virtues are benevolence or ren (仁), righteousness or yi (义), propriety or li (理), wisdom or zhi (智) and fidelity or xin (信).

What are the rules of Confucianism?

The four tenets of Confucianism are Rites and Rituals, the Five Relations, Rectification of Names, and Ren. All rites and rituals are intentional acts of social unification.

Does Confucius believe in God?

Confucianism is a philosophy and belief system from ancient China, which laid the foundation for much of Chinese culture. … There are no Confucian gods, and Confucius himself is worshipped as a spirit rather than a god.

Our Favorite Quotes from Confucianism

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

“The funniest people are the saddest ones”

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

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

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

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

“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.”

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

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


“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

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

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

“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.”

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

“The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?”

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

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

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

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

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.”

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

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”

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


“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

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“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

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

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

“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. ”

“Don't do unto others what you don't want done unto you.”

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

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

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”

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

“Time flows away like the water in the river. ”

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

“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.”

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

“Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

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

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.”