The final chapter

子曰:「不知命,無以為君子也。不知禮,無以立也。不知言,無以知人也。」
Confucius said: “If you don’t understand fate you cannot become a leader. If you don’t understand the rites, you cannot become a complete person. If you don’t understand the meaning of words, you cannot understand people.”

The Analects finishes with three final nuggets of advice for an aspiring leader. Learn to focus on what you can control rather than concerning yourself with the vagaries of fate. Learn how to behave appropriately in order to make a full contribution to society. And learn how to judge the true character of other people by knowing when they are speaking truthfully or lying.

It feels good to have finally come to the end of the Analects. I do have plans to publish the translation in eBook form later this year, but for now I’ll take some time out to review and reflect.

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