Considerate, diligent, and loyal

Fan Chi asked about goodness. Confucius said: “Be considerate in your private life, diligent in your public affairs, and loyal to others. Even when you are among the Yi and Di tribes, do not deviate from these principles.”

When stripped of all its trappings, the principle of goodness (仁/rén) is very simple: treat others as you would expect them to treat you.

As I first mentioned here, there is no justification for translating the term 夷狄 (yídí) as “barbarian” as other Western scholars have. Calling them the Yi and Di tribes is quite sufficient.

By the way, this is the final appearance of the disciple Fan Chi in the Analects. Judging by Confucius’s attitude towards him, he wasn’t exactly the sharpest pencil in the box.

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