Zizhang inquired, “What must a scholar-official be like before he can be considered accomplished?”
The Master replied, “What do you mean by ‘accomplished’?”
“Sure to be renowned, whether serving the state or a noble family.”
The Master said, “That is merely being ‘renowned,’ not being ‘accomplished.’ Someone who is accomplished is upright in his native substance and fond of rightness. He examines other people’s words and observes their demeanor, and always takes the interests of his inferiors into account when considering something—no matter whether serving the state or a noble family. Someone who is renowned, on the other hand, adopts the appearance of Goodness but violates it in his actual conduct, all the while never doubting that he deserves to be called Good. Thus, he is sure to be renowned, whether serving the state or a noble family.”Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
Zizhang asked, What does a man of station have to do to be known as accomplished?
The Master said, What do you mean by accomplished?
Zizhang replied, In the domain, invariably well reputed; in the family, invariably well reputed.
The Master said, That is reputation, not accomplishment. The accomplished man is solid, straightforward, a lover of right. He weighs people’s words, observes their attitude, and is careful to defer to others. In the domain, he is invariably recognized for his accomplishments; in the family, invariably recognized for his accomplishments. The man of reputation pretends to adhere to humaneness but acts quite differently and never shows any doubt in what he’s doing—so in the domain, he is invariably well reputed; in the family, invariably well reputed.Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.