Mencius Quotes

“Friendship is one mind in two bodies.”
― Mencius

 

 

“With melted snow I boil fragrant tea.”
― Mencius

 

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart”
― Mencius

 

 

“Only when there are things a man will not do is he capable of doing great things.”
― Mencius

 

 

“The way of truth is like a great road. It is not difficult to know it. The evil is only that men will not seek it.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Filling with food,
Warming with clothes,
Living leisurely without learning,
It is little short of animals.”
― Mencius

 

 

“That’s like climbing a tree to find a fish.”
― Mencius

 

 

“The feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom”
― Mencius

 

 

“Integrity, wisdom, skill, intelligence – such things are forged in adversity.”
― Mencius

 

“A man must not be without shame, for the shame of being without shame is shamelessness indeed.”
― Mencius

 

 

“People are distressed by their inability to do it. The problem, however, is simply that they don’t do it.”
― Mencius

 

“So it is that whenever Heaven invests a person with great responsibilities, it first tries his resolve, exhausts his muscles and bones, starves his body, leaves him destitute, and confound his every endeavor. In this way his patience and endurance are developed, and his weaknesses are overcome. We change and grow only when we make mistakes. We realize what to do only when we work through worry and confusion. And we gain people’s trust and understanding only when our inner thoughts are revealed clearly in our faces and words.”
― Mencius

 

“A great man is he who has not lost the heart of a child.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Human-heartedness is man’s mind. Righteousness is man’s path. How sad that he abandons that path and does not rely on it; that he loses that mind and does not know to seek it. When a man has lost a cock or a dog, he knows to seek it, but having lost his (proper) mind, he does not know to seek it. The Way of Learning is nothing other than seeking the lost mind”
― Mencius

 

 

“There’s only one way to know if people are good or evil: look at the choices they make. We each contain precious and worthless, great and small. Never injure the great for the sake of the small, or the precious for the sake of the worthless. Small people nurture what is small in them; great people nurture what is great in them.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Sincerity is the way to Heaven.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Don’t do what should not be done, and don’t desire what should not be desired. Abide by this one precept, and everything else will follow.”
― Mencius

 

“For nurturing the mind, there’s nothing like paring your desires away to a very few. If you have few desires, there may still be some capricious whims in your mind, but they’ll be few. If you have many desires, there may be some enduring principles in your mind, but they’ll be few indeed.”
― Mencius

 

 

“I understand what lies hidden beneath beguiling words. I understand the trap beneath extravagant words. I understand the deceit beneath depraved words. And I understand the weariness beneath evasive words.”
― Mencius

 

 

“All beneath Heaven is rooted in nation. Nation is rooted in family. And family is rooted in self.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Make your learning abundant and speak of it with precision, then you will speak of essentials.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Treat others as you would be treated. Devote yourself to that, for there’s no more direct approach to Humanity.”
― Mencius

 

 

“The heart of compassion is the germ of benevolence; the heart of shame, of dutifulness; the heart of courtesy and modesty, of observance of the rites; the heart of right and wrong, of wisdom. Man has these four germs just as he has four limbs. For a man possessing these four germs to deny his own potentialities is for him to cripple himself.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Words that defy reality are ominous. And it’s ominous reality that confronts those who would obscure the wise and worthy.”
― Mencius

 

“All the children who are held and loved…will know how to love others. Spread these virtues in the world. Nothing more need be done.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Getting something done is like digging a well. You can dig a well seventy feet deep, but if you don’t hit water it’s just an abandoned well.”
― Mencius

 

“221. “Great is the man who has not lost his childlike heart.”~”
― Mencius

 

“Friends are the siblings God never gave us”
― Mencius

 

“I am not fond of disputation; I have no alternative.”
― Mencius

 

“Words that speak of things close at hand and carry far-reaching implications – those are the good words.”
― Mencius

 

 

 

“There are people dying from famine on the roads, and you do not issue the stores of your granaries for them. When people die, you say, ‘it is not owing to me, it is owing to the year.’ In what does this differ from stabbing a man and killing him, and then saying, ‘it was not I, it was the weapon?”
― Mencius

 

 

“It’s simple: To say anything about the nature of things, you must attend to the facts, facts in their original form. The trouble with knowledge is that it keeps chiseling things away.”
― Mencius

 

“All tongues savor the same flavors, all ears hear the same music, and all eyes see the same beauty.”
― Mencius

 

“If a man does great deeds, then amongst his descendants in generations to come there will be one who will become a true King. All a gentleman can do in starting an enterprise is to leave behind a tradition which can be carried on. Heaven alone can grant success. What can you do about [your endeavours]? You can only try your best to do good.”
― Mencius

 

 

“When men are subdued by force, they do not submit in their minds, but only because their strength is inadequate. When men are subdued by power in personality they are pleased to their very heart’s core and do really submit.”
― Mencius

 

 

“The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute;– he simply speaks and does what is right.”
― Mencius

 

 

“We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.”
― Mencius

 

 

“There are things a person wants more than life and there are also things he or she loathes more than death.”
― Mencius

 

 

“If someone stops where they should not, they’ll stop anywhere. If someone slights a person they should treat generously, they’ll slight anyone. And if someone races ahead, they retreat in a hurry.”
― Mencius

 

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Je lepší nemít žádné knihy, než věřit všemu, co je v nich napsáno.”
― Mencius

 

 

“When someone dies, You say, ‘It wasn’t me. It was due to the harvest.’ How is this different from killing someone by stabbing him and saying, ‘It wasn’t me. It was due to the weapon’? If Your Majesty does not blame the harvest, then the people of the world will come to You.”
― Mencius

 

“La amistad es una mente en dos cuerpos.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Friends are the siblings God never gave us.”
― Mencius

 

 

“when people put profit before righteousness, they cannot be satisfied without grasping for more.”
― Mencius

 

 

“When grain, fish, turtles, and wood are inexhaustible, this will make the people have no regrets in caring for the living or mourning the dead. When the people have no regrets about caring for the living or mourning the dead, it is the beginning of the Kingly Way.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Trying to meet a worthy man in the wrong way is as bad as closing the door on an invited guest.”
― Mencius

 

 

“Sima Qian said, “When I read the Mengzi and come to the part where King Hui of Liang asks, How can I profit my state? I always set down the book and sigh, Alas! Profit genuinely is the beginning of chaos. Kongzi ‘seldom spoke of profit’ (Analects 9.1) and always guarded against it at its source. Hence, he said, ‘If in your affairs you abandon yourself to the pursuit of profit, you will arouse much resentment’ (4.12). Whether one is the Son of Heaven or a commoner, how does the confusion that is fondness for profit differ?”
― Mencius

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