Doing homework with your son has its advantages. Tonight, Sam’s homework was on the Analects of Confucius (Kongfuzi) c. 500 BC. Which meant, my homework was on the same. So we knuckled down into our studies and I had a blast reading this wise man’s comments, which of course, I assimilated into my world view.

If you have a moment, consider a few of the quotes from Confucius.

By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart. (This sounds like he’s talking about diligent practice or grit. It isn’t 10,000 hours of practice that makes an expert, it’s 10,000 hours of diligent practice.)

I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out anyone who is not anxious to explain himself. (Christ taught us to never cast our pearls before swine. Yet so many of us constantly opine without invitation.)

A youth in a village was employed to carry messages between the leader of the village and his visitors. Someone asked about the youth saying, ,”I suppose he has made great progress.” The Master said, “I observe that he is fond of occupying the seat of a full-grown man; I observe that he walks shoulder to shoulder with his elders. He is not one who is seeking to make progress in learning. He wishes quickly to become a man. (It seems that the quick fix, drive-through mentality existed 2500 years ago, and our youth change little.)

And my favorite: Confucius says, “A scholar, whose mind is set on truth, and who is ashamed of bad clothes and bad food, is not fit to be discoursed with.” (For those of you who don’t know me personally, I don’t care for fancy clothes or putting food at the center of my travels or life, so I got a good chuckle knowing that Confucius didn’t wear a suit and tie and he wasn’t a foodie.)



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