Confucius, an educated man, was well-versed in the way the
ancient sage-kings governed their people with benevolence.
He requested for a position in government to offer his
knowledge to help the ruler take care of the people, but
he was not given the government appointment he wanted due
to political chaos that time. Then, Confucius focuses his
life on teaching his disciples/students, with hope that
they would contribute their life to govern the people with
benevolence like the ancient sage-kings.
~ Confucianism is based on moral principles, which
highlight ‘ren’ or
benevolence as the key virtue of his
“…love others” (Analects, 12.22)
“…not do to other what you do not wish yourself”
“…in desiring to develop himself develop others”
~ According to Confucianism, it is very important to
maintain family harmony (family order), which can be
achieved through proper conduct called ‘li’ or rites
as it also helps to maintain harmony in the social
~ In Confucianism, each person is born with innate virtue
called ‘de’. Through learning, it teaches one to
express fully in all that one feels, think, says and does.
~ ‘Sheng ren’ or sage, a person with the highest moral
character, is one who never strays from right and kind
action. ‘Zi gong’ (a disciple of Confucius) once
asked, “If there was a man who gave extensively to the
common people and brought help to the multitude, what
would you think of him? Could he be called benevolent?”.
Confucius in reply said, “It is no longer a matter of
benevolence with such a man. If you must describe him,
sage is perhaps the right word.” (Analects, 6.30).