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PERSONAL REFLECTION #3 (CONFUCIANISM AND ORDER)

Posted on October 10, 2013 by livinloaded under Personal Reflections

In the past week I was presented with the idea of Confucianism being a religion through the required
reading. I do not know if I completely agree with this point of view, although there are good arguments
towards why it could be. Nonetheless, I still decided to choose to go about some of the Confucian ways
of life.

The two ideas of Ren and Li are a big idea in Confucianism; Ren is love and empathy, while Li is doing the
right thing in the right situation. I decided to go about doing the “five relationship rule.” I decided to go
about the hierarchal system as a Confucian follower would. All these ideas are intertwined in some way
(Ren, Li, and the relationship rule). I decided to go about my relationships the “right way” and listen to
my superiors. When my mom told me to go do something for her, I was not reluctant to do so because I
knew that I was practicing the ways of Confucianism. I found myself doing these things because it is the
correct way to do things. In fact, it created some order in my family life. My mother was able to tell me
to do anything and I abided to her every wish. In fact, I did not really mind because I felt like I was acting
in the way that I should. I found that my mom was not yelling at me because I had refused to do
something or that my dad could count on me to go pick something up for him. I felt that through this
simple rule my family did not seem to be butting heads as often as we do due to things that do not really
matter, like chores. Because of this realization I understand why Confucianism allows for a life of
tranquility. It is, simply put, because there is no opportunity to do so. Nobody was going to yell at me for
doing what they had asked of me, so in its nature there seemed to be a smoothness in life

However, I could see that in the long run I would end up not being as obedient. Growing up in this
society where adulthood is reached at eighteen does not really give us any of the same values that
Confucianism tries to impose. I find myself questioning doing things and even sometimes saying no to
things my “superiors” tell me simply, sometimes, because I did not want to. Although it seems like a
good way to life, I do not think it would allow me to make my own decisions. I would have to listen to
every wish my parents had, and I would not ever be able to experience things on my own. I think that
the ideology of Confucianism is good for order, yet it does not take into account for individuality of the
person always subjecting to their superior. Nonetheless, it was a nice experience to not argue as much
with my parents and actually see an aspect of Confucianism implemented correctly in my everyday life.
“Tsze-Kung asked, “Is there one word with which to act in accordance throughout a lifetime?” The
Master said, “Is not reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to
others.”

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”

“To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.”

“Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.”

“The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.”

“He Who Knows And Knows That He Knows Is A Wise Man - Follow Him;
He Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He Knows Not Is A Fool - Shun Him”

“When the wind blows, the grass bends.”

“Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the
Arts.”

“Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and
they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and put
them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of
shame, they will order themselves harmoniously”

“Be strict with yourself but least reproachful of others and complaint is kept afar.”

“The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified
ease.”

“If there were an honorable way to get rich, I’d do it, even if it meant being a stooge standing around
with a whip. But there isn’t an honorable way, so I just do what I like.”

“Not to discuss with a man worthy of conversation is to waste the man. To discuss with a man not
worthy of conversation is to waste words. The wise waste neither men nor words.”

“The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence the mechanic that would perfect his work must first
sharpen his tools. ”

“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.”

“To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.”

“Coarse rice to eat, water to drink, my bended arm for a pillow - therein is happiness. Wealth and
rank attained through immoral means are nothing but drifting clouds.”

“I used to take on trust a man's deeds after having listened to his words. Now having listened to a
man's words I go on to observe his deeds.”