work diligently, speak carefully

Confucius Analects – who love to learn? speech vs. action – 孔子论语 – 先行其言、而後從之。

1.6 Characteristics of man who love learning


The Master said, ‘He who aims to be a man of complete virtue in his food does not seek to gratify his appetite, nor in his dwelling place does he seek the appliances of ease; he is earnest in what he is doing, and careful in his speech; he frequents the company of men of principle that he may be rectified:– such a person may be said indeed to love to learn.’

-> Confucius does not advocate for poverty, just for non-attachment to sensual and emotional comfort or stability.   Do your work diligently, speak carefully,  and refine yourself from virtuous persons.

2.7 Act before speak


Zigong asked what constituted the superior man. The Master said, ‘He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.’

->  Why?  To build up one’s credibility.  When we accomplish what we say or promise, we build trust so others can rely on us.  If we promise too much but later cannot deliver, it hurts our confidence, and credibility.

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Eat, but do not indulge in taste;  Live, but do not endulge in stability.  What else do we seek?  Aren’t we here to seek comfort, stability, and enjoyment?  To Confucius, there are many things that are of more importance, which are knowledge, learning, benevolence and harmony.  What is important to you?

When speaking of our plan, how often can we deliver them as said?  How often did we speak of something that we fail to deliver?  It takes time to build up one’s credibility, but it takes only a few incidence to destroy it.  Therefore, Confucius suggested earnest in doing, and careful in speaking.  This is in line with the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness in action, speech, and intention.

1.6 何谓好学


-> 孔子不是提倡贫困,而是不执着与感官和情感上的舒适和稳定。勤奋的工作,小心的说话,跟能完善自己的贤人学习。

2.7 先行后言


->  为什么呢?要建立自己的信誉。当我们完成了我们说什么或承诺,便会建立对自己的信心,以及其他人对我们的信任。如果我们承诺得太多,但后来不能完成,就会伤害我们的信心和信誉。

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吃,但不要沉迷于味道; 生活,但不沉迷的安逸。我们追求什么?我们不都是在这里寻求安慰,稳定和享受吗?孔子说,还有很多东西是更重要的,比如知识的学习,善与和谐的追求。你认为,什么是重要的?

当我们提出了计划,能不能都实现他们呢? 我们有没有说了些事情,但不能做到所说的? 信誉,需要一定的时间来建立,但只需要几次失信就会被摧毁。因此,孔子提出认真的做事,小心的说话。这也符合佛教教义的正行动,正言语。


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