The Master said, “Wealth and social eminence are things that all people desire, and yet unless they are acquired in the proper way I will not abide them. Poverty and disgrace are things that all people hate, and yet unless they are avoided in the proper way I will not despise them.
“If the gentleman abandons Goodness, how can he merit the name? The gentleman does not go against Goodness even for the amount of time required to finish a meal. Even in times of urgency or distress, he necessarily accords with it.”
Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
The Master said, Wealth and eminence are what people desire, but if one can’t get them by means that accord with the Way, one will not accept them. Poverty and low position are what people hate, but if one can’t avoid them by means that accord with the Way, one will not reject them.
If the gentleman rejects humaneness, how can he be worthy of the name of gentleman? The gentleman never departs from humanness even fort he space of a meal – in confusion and distress he holds fast to it; stumbling, faltering, he holds fast to it.
Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.