January 28, 2017 – Watching the Wise


“Take a good hard look at people’s ruling principle, especially of the wise, what they run away from and what they seek out.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.38

Who do you admire?

What do you read?

What do you watch?

Junk in, junk out is real.

My recent readings on Confucian ethics expresses the importance of observing others to better understand how to act. There are what is called Four Books that represent the evolving thought of Confucianism: Analects of ConfuciousGreat LearningZhongyong and Mencius. I would like to highlight two quotes from the first and third works. Entry 20 of the Zhongyong speaks to what is the proper way of human beings.

“The proper way of human beings encourages proper governing; the way of the earth encourages planting and growing.”

From Analects:

“I used to take on trust a man’s deeds after having listened to his words. Now having listened to a man’s words I go on to observe his deeds.”

We are what we consume. We see the world through the ideas we act upon. Our words have an impact on the message we are trying to convey. We need leaders to follow, and at some point, we’ll be leaders to others. What type of leader do you want to be? Who are you following, today, that is preparing you for that role?

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