Truly resolute

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子曰:「吾未見剛者。」或對曰:「申棖。」子曰:「棖也慾,焉得剛?」
Confucius said: “I’ve never seen a man who is truly resolute.” Someone replied: “How about Shen Cheng?” Confucius said: “Shen Cheng is a slave to his desires. How can he be called resolute?”

Very little is known about Shen Cheng. He is said to have come from Confucius’s home state of Lu and may have been a disciple.

Being resolute means sticking to the path of goodness through thick and thin; presumably Shen Cheng was relentless in his pursuit of more earthly “desires” such as money and fame.

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