Confucius Sayings

Confucius, the venerable Chinese philosopher born in 551 BCE, remains a towering figure in the annals of world history. His teachings and philosophical insights have left an enduring legacy that continues to influence the moral and social fabric of East Asian society and beyond. As a thinker, educator, and founder of Confucianism, he championed a philosophy that emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, and sincerity.

His most important contribution to the world is arguably the creation of a moral code based on empathy and understanding, which has been embedded in the cultural DNA of multiple generations. The Analects, a collection of his sayings and ideas compiled by his disciples, has served as a guide for ethical conduct and governance.

One of his most famous quotes, “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,” offers a profound roadmap for the acquisition of wisdom. This quote underscores the multifaceted nature of learning and the importance of introspection, mentorship, and life’s trials as catalysts for personal growth and understanding.

In contemporary society, where information is abundant and the pace of life is rapid, this quote remains a vital touchstone. It encourages individuals to pause and engage in thoughtful reflection, to value the lessons learned from role models, and to view challenges as opportunities for learning. It prompts a deeper consideration of how wisdom is cultivated and cherished in a world that often prioritizes immediacy over depth.

Confucius’s words resonate with timeless relevance, reminding us that the pursuit of wisdom is a noble journey that shapes not only individual character but also the collective conscience of humanity.


Confucius says: “A man of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish himself, finds a foothold for others and who, in desiring attaining himself, helps others to attain.”

Confucius says: “A man should demand much from himself, but little from others. When you meet a man of worth, think how you may attain to his excellence. When you meet an unworthy one, then look within and examine yourself.”

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

Confucius says:  “All people are the same; only their habits differ.”

Confucius says: “As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.”

Confucius says:  “Aspire to the principal, behave with virtue, abide by benevolence, and immerse yourself in the arts.”

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

Confucius says: “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”

Confucius says: “Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.”

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

Confucius says: “By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”

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

Confucius says: “Do unto others what you want done unto you.”

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

Confucius says: “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

Confucius says: “Even four harnessed horses cannot bring imprudent words back into the mouth.”

Confucius says:  “Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.”

Confucius says: “Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.”

Confucius says:  “He who flatters a man is his enemy. He who tells him of his faults is his maker.”

Confucius says: “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”

Confucius says: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Confucius says: “I used to take on trust a man’s deeds after having listened to his words. Now having listened to a man’s words I go on to observe his deeds.”

Confucius says: “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 says: “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 says: “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations.
When there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.”

Confucius says: “If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be ‘thoughtfulness.”

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

Confucius says: “If you don’t want to do something, don’t impose on others.”

Confucius says : “If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.”