Stay close to the virtuous but accord them with due respect. See them as formidable but regard them with admiration. Be aware of the shortcomings in those we love and recognize the goodness in those we detest.
Scroll 7: Li Ji
Confucius said: “A superior person is self-confident without being arrogant. A petty person is arrogant yet lacks self-confidence.”
Scroll 9: Lun Yu
Confucius said: “A superior person does not recommend a person on account of what he says. Neither does he dismiss what is said on account of the speaker.”
Scroll 9: Lun Yu
It is better to acquire one remarkable horse expert like Bo Le than to own ten superb horses. It is better to acquire one exemplary swordsmith like Ou Yezi than to own ten sharp swords. Acquiring many possessions is not as useful as acquiring a few experts who can identify exquisite items for you. The experts can help you to source and collect more valuable items, and the total number of possessions you own could be more than tenfold greater in the end.
Scroll 44: Huan Zi Xin Lun
An ancient text said: “If you do not understand the son, just look at his friends and you will find the answer. If you do not understand the leader, just look at the ministers by his side and you will find the answer.” Like-minded people will seek each other’s company.
Scroll 38: Sun Qing Zi
Mencius said: “Benevolence subdues its opposite just as water subdues fire. Nowadays, those who claim to implement a benevolent government do it as if with one cup of water they could save a whole wagonload of burning fuel, and when the flames are not extinguished, then say that water cannot subdue fire. This is worse than a government that is not benevolent because in the end, even the small amount of benevolence will be lost.”
Scroll 37: Meng Zi
Potential rebels would reveal shades of guilt on their faces when they speak. People who have doubt in their mind would speak incoherently like branches spreading out in a disorderly fashion. Kind people would speak little while impetuous people talk volubly. Those who malign the kind-hearted would speak without focus. As for those who have lost their personal integrity, their words would reflect the crookedness of their minds.
Scroll 1: Zhou Yi
When a nation is about to fall because of the prevalence of moral decadence, natural disasters will happen as a warning to the leader of the state. If the leader is still oblivious to this and does not know how to reflect upon himself, abnormal and strange events will occur to frighten him. If he still does not try to correct things, harm and defeat will set in. Thus, it can be seen that Tian (heaven) is kind to the leader and hopes to stop him from making disastrous decisions.
Scroll 17: Han Shu, Vol. 5