Yuan Si asked about shame.
The Master said, “When the state has the Way, accept a salary; when the state is without the Way, to accept a salary is shameful.”
“To refrain from competitiveness, boastfulness, envy, and greed—can this be considered Goodness?”
The Master said, “This can be considered difficult, but as for its being Good, that I do not know.”Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
Xian (Yuan Si) asked what is shameful. The Master said, When a state follows the Way, one receives an official stipend. But when a state is without the Way, to receive an official stipend is shameful.
[Yuan Si said,] If one is free of high-handedness, bragging, enmity, and craving, can this be termed humaneness? The Master said, It may be termed difficult. But as for humaneness—I don’t know about that.Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.