Confucius Analects – seek to understand
1.7 Seek to understand others
The Master said, ‘I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.’
-> With our diverse backgrounds and goals, we act, think, and behave differently. It is normal that we don’t understand others very well. Therefore, do not grieve on other’s not understanding us, instead, seeks to understand ourselves and others.
4.3 Expect from oneself, not from others (status, being known)
The Master said, ‘A man should say, I am not concerned that I have no place, I am concerned how I may fit myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.’
-> Instead of blaming others and the society for not giving a position to you, take responsibility and seek to fit in to the existing world. Do not grieve on not being know by many, instead seek to be a worthy person to be known.
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Are you well understood by others? Do you seek to be understood? With his life-long experience in human relationship and dynamics, Confucius shared that it is a luxury to be understood, do not expect it. Instead, work hard to understand others, and to be a worthy person to be understood. Instead of expecting something from the external (other’s understanding), which is beyond our control; work on our internal (understand others), which is achievable.