Tumultuous times

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子曰:「聖人,吾不得而見之矣,得見君子者,斯可矣。」子曰:「善人,吾不得而見之矣,得見有恒者,斯可矣。亡而為有,虛而為盈,約而為泰,難乎有恒矣。」
Confucius said: “I have no hope of ever meeting a great sage; I suppose I would be content to meet a true leader.” Confucius said: “I cannot ever hope to meet a perfect person; I suppose I would be content to meet someone who sticks to their principles. Yet in an age when nothing masquerades as something, emptiness masquerades as fullness, and penury masquerades as affluence, it is hard enough just to stick to your principles.”

Confucius lived in tumultuous times riddled with greed, hypocrisy, and brutality, and longed for the emergence of a great figure from the cesspool to restore the nation to its former glory.

Thankfully, humanity has made great strides since those dark times, and we are fortunate not to live in “an age when nothing masquerades as something, emptiness masquerades as fullness, and penury masquerades as affluence.”

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