Rich criticism

子貢方人。子曰:「賜也,賢乎哉?夫我則不暇!」
Zigong was in the habit of criticizing other people. Confucius said: “Zigong must already be perfect. I have no free time for that.”

This stinging rebuke for Zigong is perhaps a little rich coming from a man who was not exactly known for holding back his criticisms of others!

However, as Confucius and his supporters would no doubt argue, he only pulled people up for their faults when it was appropriate, whereas Zigong rushed far too quickly into making negative judgments of others.

Whether or not this was actually the case is of course open to debate. However, Confucius does make an excellent point with his final comment when he implies that we should devote our efforts on examining our own faults rather than concerning ourselves about the deficiencies of others.

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