"Recognize that you know what you know, and that you are ignorant of what you do not know."

Confucius (551-479 BCE) is the father of Confucianism, a religion that originated in ancient China. Confucius was a great philosopher and teacher who spoke much about life and law. Many of his sayings are used in daily conversation, frequently without realization of where the sayings actually came from.

Like most other religious figures, Confucius started life in humble beginnings. He was born in the year 551 BCE, in the country of Lu, to a poor family. When Confucius was 24 his mother died. He soon after became a teacher, traveling around and speaking to those who would listen.

News of Confucius' wise sayings spread, and many people adopted his philosophies. When Confucius died, temples were built in many cities to honor him. These temples were not used for worship. Rather, they were used as public places to celebrate annual ceremonies. Currently, Confucianism is practiced all over East Asia.

Here are a few of Confucius' sayings:


  • Feel kindly toward everyone, but be intimate only with the virtuous.



  • When you see a man of worth, think of how you may emulate him. When you see one who is unworthy, examine yourself.



  • The nobler man first practices what he preaches and afterward preaches according to his practice.



  • What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others.



  • The true gentleman is friendly but not familiar; the inferior man is familiar but not friendly.



Page created on 7/1/2004 7:08:35 PM

Last edited 4/7/2017 8:41:33 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Extra Info

Please visit these other MY HERO pages on the history of religion or religious heroes:

Native American Spirituality

Related Books