5.7 How to treat elders, friends, and young
The Master said, ‘They are, in regard to the aged, to give them rest; in regard to friends, to show them sincerity; in regard to the young, to treat them tenderly.’
1.3 Life and general conducts
The Master said, ‘A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in studies.’
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In the context of personal cultivation towards social harmony, Confucius suggested proper conducts towards others. What is proper? Confucius described it vertically and radially: Vertically, we take care of people older and younger than we are, and radially we take care of ourselves and expand it to others. Through being kind and loving (to ourselves and others), we strengthen the positive which uplift ourselves and the collective world. Such is the fundamental reason for suggesting these social guidelines.