Analects 2.18

Original Text:

子张学干禄子曰多闻阙疑慎言其余则寡尤多见阙殆慎行其余则寡悔言寡尤行寡悔禄在其中矣

Translation:

Other Translations:

Zizhang asked about obtaining official position.

Confucius said, “If you first learn as much as you can, then guard against that which is dubious and speak carefully about the rest, you will seldom speak in error. If you first observe as much as you can, then guard against that which is perilous and carefully put the rest into action, you will seldom have cause for regret. If in your speech you seldom err, and in your behavior you seldom have cause for regret, an official position will follow naturally.”

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

Zizhang was studying to gain an official position. The Master said, Hear much, put aside what’s doubtful, and in your speech apply the rest with caution – then you’ll make few mistakes. Observe much, put aside what’s suspicious, and in your actions apply the rest with caution – then you’ll have little to regret. Making few mistakes, having little to regret – the way to official position lies in this.

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

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