Confucius Bk 12 Ch 22

by Georgiann Zuk, June 2014

300 words

1 page


Name of Establishment

Thesis: The main idea of this passage is that personal example can change the world and through personal example it is possible to spread some ideas, principles and virtues. That is why it is important to choose people, who occupy the leading positions carefully. Their personal example will influence everyone around them.


Every person may think about himself as about the worthy of something, but it is impossible to deny the fact that there are people, who perfectly suit some positions and there are those, who will never be good for some positions or jobs.

Each person lives in society and every act of every person influences his surroundings.

This influence can be positive or negative, depending on the situation and on the nature of the act.

To enlarge the number of positive influences and to decrease the number of negative ones it is important to find people, who will fit into the position they occupy perfectly. A person may change the situation for better as, for instance, in Tsze-hsia’s example, “Gaoyao [Kai-yao-on] was a sagely member of the court of the legendary Emperor Shun, variously reported to have been in charge of criminals and in charge of music” (The analects of Confucius, p. 64).

Analysis: There is a deep philosophic and logical sense in this passage as society is based on cooperation and personal example. The importance of personal example should not be under underestimated and it has been widely used in a great number of spheres of human activity, starting with politics and ending with education. Today there are many different social and psychological approaches to personal example and how it can be used to change the world. Among such approaches is behaviorism, first of all. Another example is the modern theory of leadership that is based on the knowledge how to use the strengths of others to increase profit/ effectiveness.


The analects of Confucius, p. 64. Retrieved December 16, 2012, …

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