Xun Zi Quotes




A person is born with a liking for profit.

A person is born with desires of the eyes and ears, and a liking for beautiful sights and sounds. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to immorality and lack of restriction, and any ritual principles and propriety will be abandoned.

A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.

Human nature is evil, and goodness is caused by intentional activity.

Human nature is such that people are born with a love of profit If they follow these inclinations, they will struggle and snatch from each other, and inclinations to defer or yield will die.

Human nature is what Heaven supplies.

Human nature refers to what is in people but which they cannot study or work at achieving.

I once tried standing up on my toes to see far out in the distance, but I found that I could see much farther by climbing to a high place.

I once tried thinking for an entire day, but I found it less valuable than one moment of study.

If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity.

If the blood humor is too strong and robust, calm it with balance and harmony.

If the gentleman has ability, he is magnanimous, generous, tolerant, and straightforward, through which he opens the way to instruct others.

If the impulse to daring and bravery is too fierce and violent, stay it with guidance and instruction.

If the quickness of the mind and the fluency of the tongue are too punctilious and sharp, moderate them in your activity and rest.

If what the heart approves conforms to proper patterns, then even if one's desires are many, what harm would they be to good order?

In antiquity the sage kings recognized that men's nature is bad and that their tendencies were not being corrected and their lawlessness controlled.

In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth.

Mencius said that human nature is good. I disagree with that.

Music is a fantastic peacekeeper of the world, it is integral to harmony, and it is a required fundamental of human emotion.

Now it is human nature to want to eat to ones fill when hungry, to want to warm up when cold, to want to rest when tired. These all are a part of people's emotional nature.

Pride and excess bring disaster for man.

Quarreling over food and drink, having neither scruples nor shame, not knowing right from wrong, not trying to avoid death or injury, not fearful of greater strength or of greater numbers, greedily aware only of food and drink - such is the bravery of the dog and boar.

Sacrifices are concerned with the feelings of devotion and longing.

Since the nature of people is bad, to become corrected they must be taught by teachers and to be orderly they must acquire ritual and moral principles.

The coming of honor or disgrace must be a reflection of one's inner power.

The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.

The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him.

The rigid cause themselves to be broken; the pliable cause themselves to be bound.

There are successful scholars, public-spirited scholars, upright scholars, cautious scholars, and those who are merely petty men.

Therefore, a person should first be changed by a teacher's instructions, and guided by principles of ritual. Only then can he observe the rules of courtesy and humility, obey the conventions and rules of society, and achieve order.

Those whose character is mean and vicious will rouse others to animosity against them.

Thus, anybody who follows this nature and gives way its states will be led into quarrels and conflicts, and go against the conventions and rules of society, and will end up a criminal.

Thus, that one can find no place to walk through the breadth of the earth is not because the earth is not tranquil but because the danger to every step of the traveler lies generally with words.

When a man sees something desirable, he must reflect on the fact that with time it could come to involve what is detestable. When he sees something that is beneficial, he should reflect that sooner or later it, too, could come to involve harm.

When people lack teachers, their tendencies are not corrected; when they do not have ritual and moral principles, then their lawlessness is not controlled.

When you concentrate on agriculture and industry and are frugal in expenditures, Heaven cannot impoverish your state.

When you locate good in yourself, approve of it with determination. When you locate evil in yourself, despise it as something detestable.

Whether the gentleman is capable or not, he is loved all the same; conversely the petty man is loathed all the same.

0 comments: