Quotes by Xunzi

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When you concentrate on agriculture and industry and are frugal in expenditures, Heaven cannot impoverish your state. more...

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. more...

Therefore, a person should first be changed by a teacher's instructions, and guided by principles of ritual. Only then can he observe the rules of courtesy and humility, obey the conventions and rules of society, and achieve order. more...

If the gentleman has ability, he is magnanimous, generous, tolerant, and straightforward, through which he opens the way to instruct others. more...

Whether the gentleman is capable or not, he is loved all the same; conversely the petty man is loathed all the same. more...

Thus, that one can find no place to walk through the breadth of the earth is not because the earth is not tranquil but because the danger to every step of the traveler lies generally with words. more...

In antiquity the sage kings recognized that men's nature is bad and that their tendencies were not being corrected and their lawlessness controlled. more...

They are done merely for ornament. ... the common people regard them as supernatural. more...

The noble person uses things; the lesser man is used by things. more...

Man's nature is evil; goodness is the result of conscious activity. more...

If there is no dull and determined effort, there will be no brilliant achievement. more...

You look upon the seasons with expectation and await them: wy not seize the seasonal opportunities and exploit them? more...

Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice. more...

If the quickness of the mind and the fluency of the tongue are too punctilious and sharp, moderate them in your activity and rest. more...

Thus, anybody who follows this nature and gives way its states will be led into quarrels and conflicts, and go against the conventions and rules of society, and will end up a criminal. more...

Now it is human nature to want to eat to ones fill when hungry, to want to warm up when cold, to want to rest when tired. These all are a part of people's emotional nature. more...

Mencius said that human nature is good. I disagree with that. more...

The coming of honor or disgrace must be a reflection of one's inner power. more...

The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him. more...

When people lack teachers, their tendencies are not corrected; when they do not have ritual and moral principles, then their lawlessness is not controlled. more...

If you wish to see the thousand years, look at today; if you wish to understand the millionfold, then look at the one or the two. more...

One must remember equality, yet also be aware of difference, for if the people are allowed to act as it pleases them without coming up against displeasure, if one gives rein to its desires without setting [any] limit, it becomes confused and can no longer take delight in anything. more...

The nature of man is evil; what is good in him is artificial. more...

Sacrifice is a state of mind in which our thoughts turn with longing [toward Heaven, the Ancestors], It is the supreme expression of loyalty, love, and respect. more...

Misery is evil; quarreling, a misfortune. There is only one possibility of avoiding both: a clear division of society. [Otherwise] the strong tyrannize the weak, the intelligent frighten the stupid, the inferior resist the superior, and the young mock the old. more...

Sacrifices are concerned with the feelings of devotion and longing. more...

Quarreling over food and drink, having neither scruples nor shame, not knowing right from wrong, not trying to avoid death or injury, not fearful of greater strength or of greater numbers, greedily aware only of food and drink - such is the bravery of the dog and boar. more...

There are successful scholars, public-spirited scholars, upright scholars, cautious scholars, and those who are merely petty men. more...

Pride and excess bring disaster for man. more...

I once tried thinking for an entire day, but I found it less valuable than one moment of study. more...

Men of all social stations live together: they are equal in their desires, yet vary in their methods; they are equal in their passions, yet different in their intelligence; that is their nature-given vitality. more...

The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere. more...

A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned. more...

Music is a fantastic peacekeeper of the world, it is integral to harmony, and it is a required fundamental of human emotion. more...

If the impulse to daring and bravery is too fierce and violent, stay it with guidance and instruction. more...

Human nature is evil, and goodness is caused by intentional activity. more...

The rigid cause themselves to be broken; the pliable cause themselves to be bound. more...

If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity. more...

Since the nature of people is bad, to become corrected they must be taught by teachers and to be orderly they must acquire ritual and moral principles. more...

I once tried standing up on my toes to see far out in the distance, but I found that I could see much farther by climbing to a high place. more...

Human nature refers to what is in people but which they cannot study or work at achieving. more...

Human nature is what Heaven supplies. more...

Human nature is such that people are born with a love of profit If they follow these inclinations, they will struggle and snatch from each other, and inclinations to defer or yield will die. more...

If the blood humor is too strong and robust, calm it with balance and harmony. more...

When a man sees something desirable, he must reflect on the fact that with time it could come to involve what is detestable. When he sees something that is beneficial, he should reflect that sooner or later it, too, could come to involve harm. more...

Those whose character is mean and vicious will rouse others to animosity against them. more...

If what the heart approves conforms to proper patterns, then even if one's desires are many, what harm would they be to good order? more...

The drum is surely the lord of music, is it not? more...


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