Meng Tzu

Meng Tzu aphorisms

Read quotations by Meng Tzu



Wrong are those rulers who do not want to share their joys with the people. For if one rejoices in the joys of the people, so do the people rejoice in their joys. If he grieves the people's sorrows, the people grieve his sorrows. And if he both rejoices and grieves for the whole Pod of heaven - such a man cannot but become a king!

A man is dishonored if he has already dishonored himself. A family is broken when it has already broken itself. A state is broken when it has broken itself. If Heaven sends trouble, we can still escape it. If trouble is in us, there is no escape.

Big people have their works and small people have their works. If everyone has to personally make for their own needs what a hundred craftsmen make, the Celestial Empire will be in disarray.

Some strain the mind, others strain the muscles. Those who strain their minds control people, and those who strain their muscles control people. The governed feed others, and the governed feed from others. This is the universal law.

Humanity is the peaceful abode of man, and duty is his true path. What a pity when this peaceful abode is empty and not lived in, when the true path is neglected and not followed!

The way of truth is near, but it is sought far away. The ministry is simple, and seeks it in the difficult. Let everyone love their loved ones and honor their elders - and there will be peace in the Celestial Empire.

He who makes arrows is not as human as he who makes armor. The first fears only one thing - that his arrows will not hurt a man. The second fears that they will not hurt him.

The one who is stocked up on provisions won't be killed by a hungry year. He, who is stocked with virtue, will not be corrupted by a vicious age.

A great man is he who has not lost his infant heart.

He who loves people, and people always love. One who treats them with respect, and people always respect.

A basket of rice, a bowl of stew: if you get it, you live, if you don't get it, you die. But offer them with a rude shout, even a tramp will not take them, and offer them to a beggar, kicking his foot, even a beggar will refuse.

When a state has no faithful servants to guard the law, and no hostile powers or external attacks outside it, such a state usually perishes. From this we learn that life is of cares and suffering, and death is of contentment and joy.


Meng Ke.

Quotations by Meng Tzu