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4. To live with integrity

1. The Master said, "To live with integrity is beautiful. If you choose not to stick with integrity, how can you claim to have wisdom?'

2. The Master said, “Those who do not have integrity cannot remain bound by ethical precepts for long. They cannot remain joyfully for long anywhere. Those who have integrity derive comfort from integrity. Wise people derive benefit from integrity.

3. The Master said, "Only those who have integrity can truly love people and truly hate people."

4. The Master said, "Have the dogged determination to practice integrity. You will not be in a bad way."

5. The Master said, "Wealth and honour are what people desire. But if you did not get them through the proper Way, do not dwell there. Poverty and low status are what people loathe. But if the Way did not prevail and you happened to have them, do not flee from them. If a noble man abandons integrity, loathsome indeed is his reputation as a noble man! A noble man does not go against integrity even while eating. Even in extreme haste, even in extreme peril, he will always abide by integrity."

6. The Master said, "I have not seen a man who cherishes integrity and yet loathes a person lacking in integrity. A man who cherishes integrity does not make a fuss about it. He who loathes a person lacking in integrity is making a virtue of his own loathing. Do not use a person lacking in integrity to aggrandize yourself. You can, if it is only for a day, exert your force to practise integrity, can you not? I have not seen a man who does not have enough force to do so. Maybe there are such persons. But I have not seen them yet."

7. The Master said, "The mistake people make depends on the group they belong to. Observe the mistake, then you will know what type of man he is."

8. The Master said, "If I understand the Way in the morning, it wouldn't matter if I should die in the evening."

9. The Master said, "An officer must set his mind firmly on the Way. If he should be ashamed of tattered cloth and coarse food, he is not good enough to talk to."

10. The Master said, "A noble man's standard is the whole world: nothing is correct, nothing is incorrect. Rightness goes with him."

11. The Master said, "A noble man reflects upon virtue; the petty and the lowly reflect upon land. A noble man reflects upon punishment; the petty and the lowly reflect upon gift."

12. The Master said, "If you act in pursuit of benefit, you will cause many grievances."

13. The Master said, "Suppose a country is run by those who can have modesty according to Li. What obstacles will there be? If a country is run by those who cannot have modesty according to Li, what will become of Li?'

14. The Master said, "Do not worry about having no position. Worry instead about whether you have the qualifications. Do not worry about lack of recognition. Seek instead to be worthy of recognition."

15. The Master said, "Listen, San (參), my Way has one consistent theme." Master Zeng said, "Indeed, Sir." The Master went out. The pupils asked, "What does that mean?" Master Zeng said, "Our Master's Way is grounded upon loyalty and compassion."

16. The Master said, "A noble man is clear-headed about what is right; the petty and the lowly are clear-headed about what is beneficial."

17. The Master said, "When you see a talented man, think about aligning with him. When you see a man lacking in talent, scrutinise yourself as to your own shortcomings."

18. The Master said, "In serving your parents, you may duly express your disagreement but do so with trepidation. When you see that they are determined not to follow your view, respect them and do not go against them. Exert your efforts and do not blame them."

19. The Master said, "While your parents are there, avoid touring too far. If you do go away, inform them of your destination."

20. The Master said, "If you do not divert from your father's way for three years, you may be considered as serving your parents."

21. The Master said, "Your parents' age cannot be forgotten, for you are at once delighted by and afraid of their age."

22. The Master said, "In olden days, men did not speak out because they were ashamed of not keeping up with their words."

23. The Master said, "Those who are sparing of words and yet fail to keep them; there aren't many."

24. The Master said, "A noble man desires to be halting in his speech, but forthcoming in his conduct."

25. The Master said, "Virtue is not lonely. It is bound to have neighbours."

26. Zi You said, "To have numerous bosses to serve is to invite humiliation. To have numerous friends is to invite estrangement."

Published on Categories ACLP