Confucius -551 - -479 (72)

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.


The Analects

Confucius (552 BC - 479 BC) was a famous Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy as preserved by his students in the work "Analects", profoundly influenced the life and thought of East Asia. It seems that he was born in 551 BC. in the small town of Lu of Shandong Peninsula in northeast China. At that time, China was divided into small states torn apart by civil strife. The Zu kingdom that kept the provinces united for 500 years, had collapsed after barbaric invasions in 771 BC. and a climate of pervasive decline was spreading at the time, in the country.

At a young age, about 3 years old, Confucius lost his father, it is not known where he received his education. At the age of nineteen he was already married, he had a son and two daughters from this marriage. Shortly after his marriage he worked for the Ki family, first as a warehouse keeper, and then as a garden and shepherd inspector. At the age of 22 he started teaching children of aristocratic families as a home teacher. In 517 BC. He visited the capital of the kingdom and studied the treasures of the royal library, as well as music, which had been cultivated at a high level in the Court. It is possible that he then met Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism.

At the age of fifty his value was recognized and he was appointed in a position similar to the current minister, which brought him many enemies as the aristocracy could not tolerate his rise nor the reforms he brought. At some point he was forced to leave his position and was exiled. For the following years he traveled to neighboring kingdoms carrying his universal message. At the age of 68 he returned to his hometown with about 70 students who accompanied him on his travels. He died on November 21, 479 BC, a year after his son was killed in a battle.

Confucius' philosophical tradition was preserved thanks to his students, who spread his message to every corner of vast China; until the 2nd century BC, his teaching would become the basis for education and political structure. He lived with restraint and self-discipline, he wanted to strengthen the social values of tradition and compassion and struggled to find the ideal way of virtuous life; his "golden Rule" was: "Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you".