Sound advice

子夏為莒父宰問政。子曰:「無欲速,無見小利。欲速則不達,見小利則大事不成。」
When Zixia was governor of Jufu he asked about governance. Confucius said: “Do not try to rush things. Ignore matters of minor advantage. If you try to rush things, you will not achieve success. If you pursue matters of minor advantage, you will not succeed in major affairs.”

According to many commentators, Zixia moved far too aggressively to reform the walled city of Jufu in state of Lu when he took over as its governor. Hence, Confucius warns him to move more cautiously and not “rush things.”

For good measure, Confucius counsels his disciple to focus on the most important priorities rather than allow himself to be distracted by “matters of minor advantage.”

Sound advice for all of us!

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