Confucius (Kong Qiu)
Chinese scholar and philosopher whose influence on Chinese culture is vitally integrated fro over 2000 years. Confucianism is a feature of the Chinese people's daily life as it is the foundation of Chinese family structure, a conceptual framework for personal attitudes, and a practical guide for conduct. Confucius contributed significantly to thought about government, school, family, education, and ethics. Kong Qiu was a student of the philosophy of Lao Tzu. He was, perhaps, more of an interpreter and conservator of the intellectual past than an innovator of new views. Yet, his expression of ideas about central human themes continues to resonate for many who study him today.
Confucius is a name given to Kong Qiu by Christian missionary. The word "Confucius" has no meaning to Chinese who call the philosopher Kong Fuzi or Kong Qiu (Master Kong). Among the works attributed to Kong Zi are The Analects, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Great Learning, and commentaries that have become part of the I Ching (Book of Changes).
Kong Qiu taught that human nature is naturally directed towards goodness. Evil and injustice are symptoms of imbalance and improper relationships among individuals. Hence the proper roles of members of the family (as well as members of the State) are primary theses in his work.
Confucianism teaches six central virtues that all people should strive to improve and practice:
The last value, Benevolence, is often considered the highest Confucian value. A person should be able to find these values in themselves and strive to see the other people and the world by means of them.
Kong Qiu is one of the classic sources of the principle known as Golden Rule "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others" and the virtue of forgiveness "The injuries done to you by an enemy should be returned with a combination of love and justice".
What do you think the world would be like if people generally followed this way of thought and practiced the Confucian virtues?
Many people experience strong attraction to Kong Qiu's vision of life, as it hearkens to values of stability, balance, and acceptance of one's social role.
Other's see that the conservativism of the confucian view makes it difficult to criticize the social order and effect social change.
However it impacts you, if the present world seems to you to be in need of moral change and if you recognize the importance of Chinese culture in global dynamics, then Kong Qiu and Confucianism is a topic that you will want to make some study of.