Confucius has greatly impacted China and its individuals when it comes to their way of thinking and behaving. He was a famous Chinese teacher and philosopher. Born in the year 551 B.C. in a Chinese province in Shantung, China, it was foretold how he was a miraculous baby supernatural beings would visit him. He lost his father at a very young age, while his mother suffered from the persecution of his father’s legal wives. During that period, the legal wives begrudged him as he was the only born son. This is especially important in China as they value having a son rather than a daughter as this would extend one’s generation and would bring forth the family’s last name. He has then lived a life that had a firm belief in his values which he later then shared with his students.
Upon his death, his loyal students were able to take note of all his teachings and quotations which were later compiled in a book called “Analects of Confucius”. Not only did this expanded to different parts of China, but also to subsequent philosophers from all over the world. His teachings focus on the following concepts: benevolence, righteousness, reverence, moral wisdom, and integrity. Regarding benevolence, he emphasizes how a man would sacrifice his life in order to preserve this aspect. He believes that human heartedness is the foundation of any relationship. One should embrace anything as a whole – both the good and the bad. As for moral righteousness, this is the ability to recognize what is right from what wrong. He believes that an action is made solely for the season that it is the right thing to do and not what one will get from that act. In line with reverence, he gives high value on the importance of giving back to one’s parents. Parents have sacrificed their lives to their child which he believes should be returned by the child with honor and respect all throughout one’s existing life.
Besides focusing on practical morality, justice, and sincerity, Confucius also focuses on giving value to education and scholarship. He wrote the quote, “If you do not study hard when you are young, you’ll end up bewailing your failures as you grow up.” This is been widely practiced not only in China but also in other neighboring regions such as Korea, Singapore, and Japan. Despite Japan and China’s evident tension regarding the Nanking Massacre, Confucianism is still undoubtedly influential in Japan. Confucius gave rise to the imperial examination system wherein an exam system was significant when it comes to the educational success of an individual. He believes that everyone is born equal and the same, and it is through education that one widens its perspective in understanding the world. He also adds how education can be both formal and informal. One can seek knowledge from teachers as well as oneself. Confucianism regards education as the equalizing factor that gives equal opportunity for anyone in the community to succeed regardless of its social status.
Among all the teachings of Confucius, there is one that has been considered a gem. This is his saying, “Do unto others what you want done unto you.” This is a very practical advice that can be applied in almost any situation. To know the true meaning of this saying, one should be able to live authentically. Being authentic means being true to oneself even without anyone looking. It’s also living up to one’s mistakes and taking full responsibility for one’s actions regardless of the outcome. Our minds may be conscious of most of the things we’re doing, but this does not mean that we should neglect our subconscious mind. With meditation, this allows oneself to fully surrender and understand oneself more in a deeper manner.
Although Confucianism is not the religion in China anymore, it continues to be the principle followed or numerous Chinese traditions and beliefs. It has been part of who they are and how their society works. And what makes the teachings of Confucius stand out from the rest is it encourages an individual to think on its own and not just merely follow what is written and ordered. It will be certain that his teachings will continue to influen