Confucius Bk 15 Ch 18

by Regina Kauzlarich, June 2014

300 words

1 page



The following passage written by the Chinese sophist Confucius is a quote from Confucian Analects and is closely connected to the abruption between the person’s serious wish to do something (or even the real life goal) and the lack of the means to reach it. A Personality from the Capital Letter is unhappy only in case he or she wants to do something significant in life (for example, for the people or country) but at the moment or in general, he or she has no opportunity to perform the required action. At the same time, such a person does not mind that the other people do not know him or her. It is not important in this case.


In his Confucian Analects Confucius has created a set of rules for the superior men. The following rule is one of the most significant. The sophist believed in fact that only high-minded person, which cares not only about himself or herself but about the others and the country, could be set as an example for everyone.

If the person is interested only in fame or in being recognized by publicity, he or she is not a deep personality. Moreover, there are more possibilities for him or her to be happy searching for the opportunities to do what he or she really wants than in case the person wants the others to know him or her.


Generally, Confucius is right in his passage regarding the following issue. Actually, in real life fame nearly never brings happiness to the person, who strives for receiving it. At the same time, people are often very unhappy, when they have no possibility to receive what they want. Moreover, if their wish is more global and touches not only their personal wishes or requirements but the ability to perform something good for the other people, the feeling of unhappiness is deeper. However, such a wish should not be fanciful as it may not come true and have a bad influence over one’s mental condition.



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