Xun Zi Quotes

xun zi quotes



A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.


Therefore, a person should first be changed by a teacher's instructions, and guided by principles of ritual. Only then can he observe the rules of courtesy and humility, obey the conventions and rules of society, and achieve order.


The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him.


In antiquity the sage kings recognized that men's nature is bad and that their tendencies were not being corrected and their lawlessness controlled.


A person is born with desires of the eyes and ears, and a liking for beautiful sights and sounds. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to immorality and lack of restriction, and any ritual principles and propriety will be abandoned.


Quarreling over food and drink, having neither scruples nor shame, not knowing right from wrong, not trying to avoid death or injury, not fearful of greater strength or of greater numbers, greedily aware only of food and drink - such is the bravery of the dog and boar.


When a man sees something desirable, he must reflect on the fact that with time it could come to involve what is detestable. When he sees something that is beneficial, he should reflect that sooner or later it, too, could come to involve harm.


When people lack teachers, their tendencies are not corrected; when they do not have ritual and moral principles, then their lawlessness is not controlled.


Thus, that one can find no place to walk through the breadth of the earth is not because the earth is not tranquil but because the danger to every step of the traveler lies generally with words.


Thus, anybody who follows this nature and gives way its states will be led into quarrels and conflicts, and go against the conventions and rules of society, and will end up a criminal.


Since the nature of people is bad, to become corrected they must be taught by teachers and to be orderly they must acquire ritual and moral principles.


Now it is human nature to want to eat to ones fill when hungry, to want to warm up when cold, to want to rest when tired. These all are a part of people's emotional nature.


Human nature is such that people are born with a love of profit If they follow these inclinations, they will struggle and snatch from each other, and inclinations to defer or yield will die.




Related Quotes