Confucius the ANalects Essay

This essay has a total of 839 words and 4 pages.

Confucius the ANalects

Confucius's counsel and guidance recorded in The Analects instilled wisdom when they were
first recorded and continue to provide a thought provoking analysis of life and the
checkpoints that guide it. The Master's commentary on restraint, diligence, decency, and
citizenship are well intended and relevant. Politics and the role of government also come
under scrutiny as Confucius offers his insights in bettering the organization of power.
His proverb-like admonitions use clear examples of everyday life allowing them to be
understood and easily digested. Confucius's own eagerness and willingness to share
goodness he experienced makes it easier to apply and practice in one's own life.

In the author's book dealing with virtue he makes an astute observation regarding the need
for restraint in speech equally joined with a lack of restraint in action. Confucius
relates his good judgment in the following statement: "The men of old were reserved in
speech out of shame lest they should come short in deed." (Confucius p. 20) Confucius's
declaration seems to stem from possible past experiences with too much talk and too little
action. His declarations lead one to believe that the more traditional and conservative
ways tend to pilot one to the ideal standard of life. He reemphasized his point when he
said, "The wise man desires to be slow to speak but quick to act." (Confucius, p. 20)

Along with restraint, Confucius discusses the importance of diligence in life and work.
Similarly to the previous statements Confucius denounces inaction and asserts to be a
proponent of a diligent work ethic. His endorsing and bragging of Hui's in the following
statement shows his fondness of this trait. "Ah! Hui was the one to whom I could tell
things and who never failed to attend to them." (Confucius p.50) Confucius continues to be
pleased with the disciples' vigor and compliments them on their affinity for personal
exertion. "Alas! I ever saw him make progress, and never saw him stand still." (Confucius
p. 50) Confucius's displeasure of idleness is rather apparent in his accolades towards his

Confucius's complimentary behavior not motivated his disciples but also set forth the
example of decency and citizenship within society. "I can try a lawsuit as well as other
men, but surely the great thing is to bring about that there be no going to law."
(Confucius p. 70) Confucius stresses not only the importance of bearing down society with
avoidable lawsuits, but also that the relationships between neighbors should be above
petty differences and disputes. He continues to encourage the importance neighbors by
counseling his followers about the perspective in which we view others. "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." (Confucius p. 70) The goodwill of which Confucius wishes to implant in
his followers is evident in his statements as he encourages optimism and discourages the
maligning of a fellow citizen.

Confucius not only expects the citizens to be of good character, but also those who lead
the government. He illustrates the need for virtuous constituents to be led by virtuous
leaders. "If a man put himself aright, what difficulty will he have in the public service;
Continues for 2 more pages >>