Xun Zi Quotes
12 Sourced Quotes
The gentleman knows that whatever is imperfect and unrefined does not deserve praise.... He makes his eyes not want to see what is not right, makes his ears not want to hear what is not right, makes his mouth not want to speak what is not right, and makes his heart not want to deliberate over what is not right.... For this reason, power and profit cannot sway him, the masses cannot shift him, and nothing in the world can shake him.
One whose intentions and thoughts are cultivated will disregard wealth and nobility. One whose greatest concern is for the Way and righteousness will take lightly kings and dukes. It is simply that when one examines oneself on the inside, external goods carry little weight. A saying goes, "The gentleman makes things his servants. The petty man is servant to things."
The learning of the gentleman enters through his ears, fastens to his heart, spreads through his four limbs, and manifests itself in his actions.... The learning of the petty person enters through his ears and passes out his mouth. From mouth to ears is only four inches—how could it be enough to improve a whole body much larger than that?
A person who is transformed by the instructions of a teacher, devotes himself to study, and abides by ritual and rightness may become a noble person, while one who follows his nature and emotions, is content to give free play to his passions, and abandons ritual and rightness is a lesser person.