Famous Proverbs - Chinese Proverbs, African, Irish, and English Proverbs

All Proverbs | Submit a Proverb | Search More Proverbs |Contact Us

Confucius Proverbs and Old Sayings

BC 551-479, Chinese Ethical Teacher, Philosopher


Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.
The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
Mankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.
I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.
The cautious seldom err.
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
The superior man will watch over himself when he is alone. He examines his heart that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause of dissatisfaction with himself.
To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence; and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude. He who knows these three things
When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
To be with God.
Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.
Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean.
If you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to fear?
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.
The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.
To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things.
It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.
The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.
The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
The wheel of fortune turns round incessantly, and who can say to himself, ''I shall today be uppermost.''
Not to alter one's faults is to be faulty indeed.
The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.
The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.
The real fault is to have faults and not amend them.
When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.
A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.
Love thy neighbor as thyself: Do not to others what thou wouldn't not wish be done to thyself: Forgive injuries. Forgive thy enemy, be reconciled to him, give him assistance, invoke God in his behalf.
Have no friends not equal to yourself.
The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.
We take greater pains to persuade others we are happy than in trying to think so ourselves.
Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.
With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bent arm for a pillow -- I have still joy in the midst of all these things.
Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others.
The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.
To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
If you lead the people with correctness, who will dare not be correct?
Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.
Can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?
To love a thing means wanting it to live.
Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society.
The superior man is firm in the right way, and not merely firm.
The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.
What the superior person seeks is in themselves. What the mean person seeks is in others.
I will not be concerned at other men's not knowing me;I will be concerned at my own want of ability.
Of neighborhoods, benevolence is the most beautiful. How can the man be considered wise who when he had the choice does not settle in benevolence.
A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.
Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, see to the (be?) worthy of being known.
Virtuous people often revenge themselves for the constraints to which they submit by the boredom which they inspire.
When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.
You cannot open a book without learning something.
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.
When nature exceeds culture, we have the rustic. When culture exceeds nature then we the pedant.
He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.
The object of the superior man is truth.
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
When you see a worthy person, endeavor to emulate him. When you see an unworthy person, then examine your inner self.
Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.
Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.
Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.
What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
Learning without thought is labor lost.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
It is man that makes truth great, not truth that makes man great.
Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may over look it.
I have never seen a man as fond of virtue as of women.
The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.
To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?
Tsze-Kung asked, saying,  is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?'' The Master said, ''Is not Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.
Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven.
Do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role.
Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.
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.
I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.
Things that are done, it is needless to speak about; things that are past it is needless to blame.
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
It is only the wisest and the stupidest that cannot change.
Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.
The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.
I do not want a friend Who smiles when I smile Who weeps when I weep For my shadow in the pool Can do better than that.
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
The man of noble mind seeks to achieve the good in others and not their evil. The little-minded man is the reverse of this.
He who has really set his mind on virtue will do no evil.
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.
Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!
Ignorance is the night of mind, a night without moon or star.
Silence is a true friend who never betrays.
-Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man.
We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.
551 BC
479 BC
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.
And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
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.
He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.
He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.
Heaven means to be one with God.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the center of your being.
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.
If we don't know life, how can we know death?
If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?
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.
If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.
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.
It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success only comes later.
The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.
When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself.
When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it - this is knowledge.


10% Off Coupon

All Proverbs | Submit a Proverb | Search All Quotes & Proverbs | Search Proverbs | Contact Us

Famous Quotes | Love Quotes | Famous Quotes