When it comes to Chinese proverbs, Confucius quotes tend to be the most enlightening and entertaining. After all, who can forget words like "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."? That's why we're celebrating his August 27th birthday with 27 famous (and not so famous) Confucius quotes.
1. "Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star."
2. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."
3. "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved."
4. "Have no friends not equal to yourself."
5. "He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good."
6. "Ability will never catch up with the demand for it."
7. "An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger."
8. "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."
9. "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage."
10. "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."
11. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
12. "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it."
13. "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."
14. "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."
15. "When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them."
16. "The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large."
17. "Straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness."
18. "He who will not economize will have to agonize."
19. "Death and life have their determined appointments; riches and honors depend upon heaven."
20. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
21. "When prosperity comes, do not use all of it."
22. "The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them."
23. "Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing."
24. "Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it."
25. "Think no vice so small that you may commit it, and no virtue so small that you may over look it."
26. "The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development."
27. "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."
The Chinese proverbs spoken by Confucius are a testimony to how wise the man truly was. Few people on earth spoke as many truths as he did. Throughout his life, Confucius spoke hundreds of wise words. These 27 Confucius quotes are just a sampling of them.