Yan Hui asked about Goodness.
The Master said, “Restraining yourself and returning to the rites constitutes Goodness. If for one day you managed to restrain yourself and return to the rites, in this way you could lead the entire world back to Goodness. The key to achieving Goodness lies within yourself—how could it come from others?”
Yan Hui asked, “May I inquire as to the specifics?”
The Master said, “Do not look unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not listen unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not speak unless it is in accordance with ritual; do not move unless it is in accordance with ritual.”
Yan Hui replied, “Although I am not quick to understand, I ask permission to devote myself to this teaching.”Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
Yan Yuan asked about humaneness. The Master said, To master the self and return to ritual is to be humane. For one day master the self and return to ritual, and the whole world will become humane. Being humane proceeds from you yourself. How could it proceed from others?
Yan Yuan said, May I ask how to go about this?
The Master said, If it is contrary to ritual, don’t look at it. If it is contrary to ritual, don’t listen to it. If it is contrary to ritual, don’t utter it. If it is contrary to ritual, don’t do it.
Yan Yuan said, Lacking in cleverness though I am, I would like, if I may, to honor these words.Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.