Confucius Analects – Handling Mistakes
15.11 Learn from mistakes
The Master said, ‘To have faults and not to reform them,– this, indeed, should be pronounced having faults.’
19.4 Superior man commits mistakes, he learns and changes through them
Zigongsaid, ‘The faults of the superior man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see them; he changes again, and all men look up to him.’
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Here we see the imperfection of even a superior man, as those who strives towards a Superior Man still commit errors. What make a superior man stands out is that s/he can learn from mistakes, corrects upon it, and will not commit it in the future. This is similar to the description of individual karma in the Buddhist tradition, where through repeated choice, individual slowly let go of habits which is now seen to be wrong and undesired. Eventually the tendency and intensity to repeat past habits will decrease and errors will not be repeated.
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