Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Confucius and His Five Virtues

Confucius, (Latinized version of Chinese: K'ung Fu-tse) is an ancient Chinese philosopher, teacher and wandering folk singer. His writings set down many of the principle themes and attitudes cherished throughout all periods and at levels of Chinese society. 

He is often, erroneously, set in opposition to Lao Tzu, as a stuffy bureaucrat. Actually, he is one of history's first humanists and was famously fond of rice wine, poetry and good company. The epitome of his teaching may be described in his Five Virtues:

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue. These five are:
  • gravitas
  • generosity of spirit
  • sincerity
  • earnestness 
  • kindness