Analects 12.21

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Fan Chi was on an excursion with the Master, wandering below the Rain Dance Altar, when he asked, “May I ask what it means to, ‘Accumulate Virtue, reform vice, and resolve confusion’?”

The Master replied, “A noble question indeed! Put service first and reward last—is this not the way to accumulate Virtue? Attack the bad qualities in yourself rather than the badness in others—is this not the way to remedy vice? To forget yourself in a moment of anger and thereby bring ruin upon both you and your family—is this not an example of confusion?”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Fan Chi was accompanying the Master in an outing to the rain altars. He said, If I may, I would like to ask how to uphold virtue, remedy badness, and detect faulty thinking.

The Master said, An excellent question! Think of the work first and the gains afterward—this is how to uphold virtue, isn’t it? Attack the evils in yourself, not the evils in others—this is how to remedy badness, isn’t it? Because of one morning’s anger, to forget your own safety and even endanger those close to you—this is faulty thinking, isn’t it?

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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