Pathos or bathos?

子曰:「莫我知也夫!」子貢曰:「何為其莫知子也?」子曰:「不怨天,不尤人,下學而上達。知我者,其天乎!」
Confucius said: “No one understands me!” Zigong said: “How is it that no one understands you?” Confucius said: “I neither complain about Heaven nor do I blame men. Here below I am learning so that I can reach enlightenment up above. If there is anyone who understands me, it must be Heaven.”

Although Confucius is generally seen as a wise all-knowing sage, he was human like the rest of us and suffered the same doubts, fears, and in this case even self-pity.

Having failed to achieve his earthly goal of becoming a high official, he can only hope that Heaven will reward him. Some people may see pathos in his lament; others, including myself, may just see bathos instead.

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