The Teachings of Confucius

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived in 551 – 479 BC. His teachings were fundamentally related to society and government with an emphasis on traditional values of virtue. He is credited for being one of, if not, the best teachers of morality in Chinese history. This paper intends to tackle what Confucius’ philosophy and the response of his teachings to the issues of his time.

Confucius grew up and died in a society that was full of injustices against humanity. All his teachings always orbited on the concept of humanity or benevolence. This characterized his encouragement to his students to always do what is right rather than what would benefit them. He also implored them to honor their parents, respect their ancestors and love others. Confucius also taught about five fundamental types of relationships. These include servant to master, husband to wife, father to son, brother to brother and friend to friend relationships. He stated that the only way to achieve happiness in these relationships was if everyone did their parts effectively.

One of Confucius’ greatest achievements as a teacher, leader and a role model to the society was evidenced by his appointment as the district governor in his home province. He was credited for instituting reforms and establishing a fair justice system. In that period, he almost eliminated crime given that his sole purpose was to return peace and order to the province. However, he lost his position after a conspiracy from other leaders. This forced him to go into exile where he became a travelling teacher and never saw prominence till his death, thereby making him unsuccessful in achieving his goal. Nonetheless, his teachings became more prominent after his death and later were even used by emperors to help them rule fairly and successfully. His teachings also influenced their ways of life, education, government and obligations to the community.

In conclusion, the teachings of Confucius influenced his society at a time when morality was at stake and mutual interactions were less cognizant of the dignity of humanity. Thus, his philosophy has shaped the ideologies of most of his predecessors.

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