Top 20 Confucius Wisdom Quotes

For thousands of years, the wisdom of Confucius nurtured generations of wise men, even today, it also has unmatched realistic value. Nowadays, people over-chase money, material and sensuality, causing physical and mental disorders, soul loneliness and split personality. Under the circumstances, people of insight think of the wisdom of Confucius. Dr. Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Laureate in Physics, said “If humanity is to survive, we must go back to 25 centuries ago, to learn from the wisdom of Confucius.”

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher and educator in the late Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). He is the founder of Confucianism, which have deeply influenced Chinese civilization for thousands of years, and become part of the national spirit.

The long history will not make wisdom fade. The wisdom of Confucius is the great wisdom of human beings, and great wisdom should belong to all people of all the times.

1. Quotes 1 – 5


1. “学而时习之,不亦说乎?”
Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?

2. “三人行,必有我师焉。择其善者而从之,其不善者而改之。”
There must be a mentor/teacher for me among any three travellers. You have something to learn from everyone. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.

3. “学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆。”
Learning without thought is labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.

4. “温故而知新,可以为师矣。”
If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others.

5. “知之者,不如好之者,好之者,不如乐之者。”
They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.

2. Quotes 6 – 10

confucius china

6. “不患人之不己知,患不知人也。”
I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.

7. “三军可夺帅也,匹夫不可夺志也。”
The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.

8. “人无远虑,必有近忧。”
If one has no long-term considerations, he can hardly avoid troubles every now and then.

9. “逝者如斯夫,不舍昼夜。”
Time passes on just like this stream, no ceasing day or night!”

10. “己所不欲,勿施于人。”
One should not impose on others what he himself does not desire.

3. Quotes 11 – 15

confucius teach people

11. “与朋友交,言而有信。”
One should honour commitments made to friends.

12. “见利思义,见危授命。”
A man thinks of righteousness where he sees profits, risks his life where he sees other being endangered

13. “未能事人,焉能事鬼。”
You are not able to serve man well. How can you talk about serving gods and spirits?

14. “性相近也,习相远也。”
By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

15. “言必信,行必果。”
Keep what you say and carry out what you do.

4. Quotes 16 – 20


16. “欲速则不达,见小利则大事不成。”
If you have things done hastily, you will not reach the goal. If you only see small gains, you will not accomplish great tasks.

17. “工欲善其事,必先利其器。”
A workman must sharpen his tools if he wants to do his work well

18. “岁寒,然后知松柏之后凋也。”
Only when the year becomes cold do we know how the pine and the cypress are the last to fade.

19. “君子欲讷于言,而敏于行。”
The superior man wishes to be slow in his speech and earnest in his conduct.

20. “道不同,不相为谋。”
Those whose courses are different cannot lay plans for one another.

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