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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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Respectfully Cautious > Conquering Chaos

It is written in the Memoirs of the Elder Huang Shi: “The gentle could overcome the tough, and the weak could overcome the ruthless.” Being gentle is virtuous, and being tough is harmful. Naturally, the weak receive help from benevolent people, but ruthless people will only arouse enmity. Individuals who give up what is near at hand and seek what is far away will achieve little success despite their efforts. Individuals who give up what is far and seek what is near will achieve success easily. This will help more loyal officials to serve the state better, but the futile efforts of the former will only cause more people to revolt against the government. Therefore, it is said that a lord who craves to conquer more lands will eventually find his own lands turning barren. A lord who works on inculcating good morals among the people will lead his state to become stronger. Cherishing possessions already owned results in peace, but craving for others’ possessions would make one become ruthless. Even when ruthless politics might bring success in the short run, in the long run it inevitably brings defeat.”

Scroll 21: Hou Han Shu, Vol. 1

Confucius said: “There are three thousand offenses against which the five punishments of the ancient times are directed, and not one of them is greater than being unfilial. Those who threaten the ruler are repudiating his superiority. Those who undermine the authority of the sages are repudiating the validity of all laws and propriety. Those who malign filial piety are disowning the affection toward their parents. These three kinds of people will pave the way for anarchy.”

Scroll 9: Xiao Jing

If everyone in the country is fighting for their own interest, the country will be placed in danger.

Scroll 37: Meng Zi

Duke Ai asked Confucius: “I have heard that building an extension on the east side of a house is inauspicious. Is this true?” Confucius said: “There are five inauspicious matters but building an extension on the east side of a house is not one of them. Damaging others to benefit oneself is inauspicious for oneself. Abandoning the old in favor of the young is inauspicious for the family. Dismissing the able and virtuous in favor of the unworthy is inauspicious for the country. When elders refuse to teach and the young refuse to learn, this is inauspicious for the society. When the sages are in hiding and the ignorant hold power, this is inauspicious for the world. All in all, these are the five inauspicious matters but building an extension on the east side of the house is not one of them.”

Scroll 10: Kong Zi Jia Yu


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