Analects Book 6 – 10: nine sayings about goodness from Confucius

nine sayings about goodness from Confucius

The pursuit of goodness (仁/rén) requires having the courage to act according to the highest ethical standards and to set the right example for others to follow. Here are nine sayings about goodness from Confucius that appear in Book 6 to Book 10 of the Analects.

Sayings about goodness

“A person who possesses goodness is first in line to confront difficulties and last in line to collect rewards. This is goodness.”

“The wise love water, the good love mountains. The wise are active, the good are tranquil. The wise are joyful, the good enjoy long life.”

Good people help others get on their feet while establishing their own career; they help others to achieve their goals while achieving their own objectives. By standing in other people’s shoes, it can be said that they’re on the right track to goodness.”

“Set your heart on the way; act in accordance with virtue; hold fast to goodness; enjoy the arts.”

“Is goodness really so far away? No sooner do I desire goodness than it’s at hand.”

“How could I possibly dare to claim that I’m a man of great wisdom and goodness? All that can be said of me is that I never grow weary of learning and never get tired of teaching others.”

If a leader is devoted to their family, the people are inclined towards goodness; if a leader doesn’t forget about their old friends, the people will not shirk their obligations to others.”

Confucius disapproved of profit, but he approved of fate and goodness.

Confucius said: “The wise are never perplexed; the good are never anxious; the brave are never afraid.”


Book 6, Chapter 22
Book 6, Chapter 23
Book 6, Chapter 30
Book 7, Chapter 6
Book 7, Chapter 29
Book 7, Chapter 33
Book 8, Chapter 2
Book 9, Chapter 1
Book 9, Chapter 29


I took this image in the ancient water town of Wuzhen, which is located just a couple of hours from Shanghai by High Speed Train. You can read more about Wuzhen here.

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