Confucius Said

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A look back at the teachings of ancient Chinese scholar Confucius. Contains quotes about self improvement.

“To make a mistake and not correct it—that, indeed, is a mistake.” This quote is attributed to Ancient scholar Confucius, who lived in China about 2500 years ago. Confucius was man devoted to learning and self-development, and who also developed a following of students. His teachings have formed the basis of Confucianism, which has had a tremendous impact on China and the Far East for centuries.

Now in the new book A Collection of Wisdom, author Rodney Ohebsion has taken the best teachings of Confucianism and put them in a clear and efficient modern English translation.

Here is a sampling of those teachings from Confucius and other Confucian scholars:

Confucius said: “When the superior person deals with the world, he does not prejudice his mind for or against anything—he just follows what is right.”

Confucius said: “At first, my method with others was to listen to what they said, and expect them to act accordingly. Now, my method is to listen to what they say, and then observe what they do.”

Confucius said: “See a person’s actions. Observe his motives. Examine in what things he rests. How can a person conceal his character? How can a person conceal his character?”

Confucius said: “When I am with others, they are my teachers. I can select their good points and follow them, and select their bad points and avoid them.”

Confucius said: “When you have faults, don’t stop yourself from abandoning them.”

Confucius said: “The superior person does not appreciate a person solely on account of his words, nor does he disregard a person’s words solely on account of the person.”

Confucius said: “In language, it is best to be clear and say just enough to convey the meaning.”

Tzu Hsia said: “Someone who day by day gains awareness of his deficiencies, and month by month doesn’t forget what he has become proficient in, can really be called a lover of learning.”

Mencius said: “People are eager to comment on something when they themselves are not in the situation of doing it.”

Mencius said: “Only when someone refuses to do certain things will he be capable of doing great things.”

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More of these teachings can be found in the Confucianism chapter of A Collection of Wisdom. The book also contains 75 additional chapters on topics such as including Taoism, Zen Buddhism, The Lakota Native Americans, and much more. A Collection of Wisdom is available for purchase at

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Rodney Ohebsion