Let men decide firmly what they will not do, and they will be free to do vigorously what they ought to do.
I like fish, and I also like bear's paws. If I cannot have the two together, I will let the fish go, and take the bear's paws. So, I like life, and I also like righteousness. If I cannot keep the two together, I will let life go, and choose righteousness.
Only when a man will not do some things is he capable of doing great things.
Without effective protection of the citizens' right to property, it will be difficult to attract and accumulate valuable capital.
There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.
The people are the most important element in a nation; the spirits of the land and grain are the next; the sovereign is the least.
People can have a long-term life plan only if they know their private property is secure.
Kindly words do not enter so deeply into men as a reputation for kindness.
He who loves others is constantly loved by them. He who respects others is constantly respected by them.
Evil exists to glorify the good. Evil is negative good. It is a relative term. Evil can be transmuted into good. What is evil to one at one time, becomes good at another time to somebody else.
A trail through the mountains, if used, becomes a path in a short time, but, if unused, becomes blocked by grass in an equally short time.
The root of the kingdom is in the state. The root of the state is in the family. The root of the family is in the person of its head.
He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.
The great man is he who does not lose his child-heart. He does not think beforehand that his words shall be sincere, nor that his acts shall be resolute; he simply abides in the right.
Men must be decided on what they will not do and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.
Let not a man do what his sense of right bids him not to do, nor desire what it forbids him to desire. This is sufficient. The skillful artist will not alter his measures for the sake of a stupid workman.
Every duty is a charge, but the charge of oneself is the root of all others.
It is not difficult to govern. All one has to do is not to offend the noble families.
If Confucius wasn't born, the long night would have no bright lamp.
Never has a man who has bent himself been able to make others straight.