The Ideal Person According to Confucius According to Confucius, the ideal person is one who possesses an ideal moral character. respects his father and the ruler of the time. and, worships his Lord with sincere heart. He has created for himself a code of conduct and behaves according to it. He puts his efforts in discovering what is right. We see that Confucius has given great importance to the subject of morality and considers an ideal person a gentleman-scholar. He wanted all gentlemen to be graceful and dignified. Being well-spoken and well-mannered were some of the greatest qualities that he described for an ideal person.
An ideal person is truthful to others and is honest in his deeds. He never fails or gives up his efforts of self-cultivation. He gives little importance to earthly gains. In The Analects of Confucius, translated by Charles Muller, Confucius states that, “The Gentleman has nothing to compete for. But if he must compete, he does it in an archery match, wherein he ascends to his position, bowing in deference. Descending, he drinks the ritual cup. This is the competition of the Gentleman” (as cited in Muller, 2010, 3:7). So, we see that a true Confucius gentleman does not waste his time in planning for worldly gains like prizes, awards, and property. rather, he is a man of standards thinking high above the earthly possessions. He is a well-determined person and a good sport in himself. He places morals and virtues above everything else. He stays composed in hard times and is an inspiration for others around him. This makes him an important part of the society.
Fundamental Principles of Confucianism
Confucianism described five fundamental principles which if followed by man make him an ideal person or a perfect man (Buzzle.com, 2012). Let’s describe these principles in detail.
This is the principle according to which an ideal person inculcates in him a sense of modesty and self-control. An ideal person is well-mannered and respects his elders. He acts honorably and is not self-centered. It is good for him to be ambitious but those ambitions should not be achieved through unjust means. Social etiquettes and mannerism matter a lot.
According to this principle, a person should develop love for his family and then for the whole society. When parents love their children and vice versa, this strengthens the family bond and the whole society benefits in the end.
This is the principle of morality and righteousness following which the person should choose only the right path no matter how many sacrifices he has to make.
This principle states that a person should be honest with himself and with others around him. This will help build trust and confidence.
This principle states that an ideal person should be kind and gentle to everybody in the society. He should help others and understand their feelings. He should be forgiving.
This principle is about loyalty which a person should show toward his family and his country. Loyalty is very important to hold the unit of family and the whole country together.
Buzzle.com. (2012). Introduction to Confucianism and Five Relationships. Retrieved February 8, 2012, from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/introduction-to-confucianism-and-five-relationships.html
Muller, C. (2010). The Analects of Confucius. Retrieved February 8, 2012, from http://www.acmuller.net/con-dao/analects.