Confucius Analects – attitudes and conducts of a learnt person, handling mistakes

Confucius Analects – attitudes and conducts of a learnt person, handling mistakes – 孔子论语 – 過則勿憚改


The Master said, ‘If the scholar be not prudent, he will not build authority, and his learning will not be solid. Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Treat friends as if they are yourself. When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.’

-> A learnt man is prudent, treat every speech he said seriously.  By fulfilling one’s word, one build authority, and credibility.  In handling relationships, it is helpful to be loyal and trustworthy, and treat others as oneself.  In handing mistakes, have courage to admit and correct.

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This chapter consists of three components.  First calls for being prudent in one’s word and one’s life.  This is similar to Buddhist’s teaching of mindfulness in one’s action, words, and thoughts.

Second calls for loyalty to oneself and others.  When we are loyal, we hold good will, and offer others what we would offer to ourself.  This is the meaning of treating others as oneself.

Third calls for proper ways of facing errors.  We all commit mistakes, sometimes we blame others, but a more effective way is to admit mistakes, and not commit again.  When mistake occurs, face it, take responsibility, forgive, and don’t commit it again.  This is acceptable in all three traditions.


-> 有学问的人是谨慎的,对待每一个发言,他认真地说。通过履行发出的话,可以慢慢的建立权威和信誉。忠实和信赖会帮助处理关系。对待别人要和对待自己一样。犯了错误时,要有勇气承认和改正。

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