Analects 7.29

Original Text:

互乡难与言童子见门人惑子曰与其进也不与其退也唯何甚人洁己以进与其洁也不保其往也

Translation:

Other Translations:

The people of Hu Village were difficult to talk with [about the Way]. Therefore, when a young boy from the village presented himself for an interview, the disciples hesitated to let him in.

The Master said, “In allowing him to enter, I am not endorsing what he does after he retires. Why are you being so extreme? If a person purifies himself to enter, I accept his purification—I make no guarantees about what he will do once he leaves.”

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

The people of Hu village are hard to talk to. A young man came for an interview with the Master. His disciples were troubled by this.

The Master said, My concern was with what brought him, not with what he did after he left. What was so wrong about that? When a person comes to you in good faith, give him credit for the good faith. Don’t expect guarantees for what comes after.

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.