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The Way Of A Leader
Character Building
- Guard against greed
- Be frugal and diligent
- Refrain from anger
- Emulate good deeds
- Correcting our own mistakes
Be Respectful of Relatives
Be Respectful of Wise and Able Ministers
Be Receptive to Counsels from Ministers
Be Averse to Slanderous and Malevolent Advice
Be Perceptive and Astute
The Art Of A Minister
Uphold Integrity
Serve with Utmost Loyalty
Presenting Counsels
Nominating the Right Administrators
Esteeming Virtues
Be Respectful of the Dao
Filial Piety and Kinship
Benevolence and Righteousness
Be Sincere and Trustworthy
Righting Oneself
Be Discreet
Making Friends
The Art of Learning
On The Subject Of Administration
Engaging the Principles
Good Judge of Character
Appointing Officials
Paramount Impartiality
Teach and Transform
Propriety and Music
Caring about People
The Livelihood of People
Learn from the Past
The Basis of Principles
Reward and Punishment
Law and Statute
Be Careful With Military Actions
Generals and Soldiers
Respectfully Cautious
Taking Precautions
Social Customs
Conquering Chaos
Heedful of Troubling Signs
Making Correct Response
Exercise Caution from the Beginning to the End
Maintaining Good Health
Good or Evil
Human Sentiments
Talents and Virtues
Formation of Cliques
Differences that Matter
Cause and Effect

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Esteeming Virtues > Benevolence and Righteousness

Zengzi said: “An officer cannot be without breadth of mind and vigorous endurance. His responsibilities are heavy and his journey ahead is far and long indeed. When committed to practicing the virtue of benevolence as a personal goal, is this not a heavy responsibility? Only with death will this commitment end. Is this not a journey that is far and long indeed?”

Scroll 9: Lun Yu

If there is one word that you should hold permanently to your heart, it is this word, Shu—“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” If there is one standard of conduct that you should always exemplify, it is this, Zheng—“Integrity”. Shu is the practice that leads to benevolence, and Zheng is the key to righteousness.

Scroll 46: Shen Jian

Yan Yuan asked Confucius about the definition of “benevolence.” Confucius answered: “To be able to control your desires and to let your words and deeds to be steadfast in propriety is benevolence. Once you can do this you will be able to affect the world to become benevolent also. Take the initiatives upon yourself and do not expect initiation from someone else.” Yan Yuan asked again: “How can one carry on such a practice?” Confucius replied: “Do not look at things that do not accord with propriety. Do not listen to things that do not accord with propriety. Do not say things that do not accord with propriety, and do not do anything that does not accord with propriety.”

Scroll 9: Lun Yu

Zhong-gong asked about benevolence. Confucius said: “When you face the public, act as if you were greeting prestigious guests. While employing the services of the common people, act as if you were officiating a major ceremony. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others. In this way, you will not incur any bitter feelings from anybody.”

Scroll 9: Lun Yu

A man should not forget the friends he made when he was poor. A wife who has shared her husbands hardships must never be cast aside.

Scroll 22: Hou Han Shu, Vol. 2


The Governing Principles of Ancient China - Qunshu Zhiyao 360 • e-mail: amtb@amtb.tw