Inspirational Mencius Quotes

Mencius quotes
Mencius quotes

Mencius was a Chinese philosopher who is the most famous Confucian philosopher after Confucius himself. This post features some inspirational Mencius quotes. He was an itinerant Chinese philosopher and sage, and one of the principal interpreters of Confucianism. Supposedly, he was a pupil of Confucius’ grandson, Zisi. Like Confucius, according to legend, he traveled throughout China for forty years to offer advice to rulers for reform.

Mencius’s disciples included a large number of feudal lords, and he was actually more influential than Confucius had been. Mencius believed in the power of Destiny in shaping the roles of human beings in society. What is destined cannot be contrived by the human intellect or foreseen. Destiny is shown when a path arises that is both unforeseen and constructive

Mencius Quotes

“He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature.”
― Mencius

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

“The way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind.”
― Mencius

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

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

“If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.”
― Mencius

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

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

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

“They who accord with Heaven are preserved, and they who rebel against Heaven perish.”
― Mencius

“Sincerity is the way to Heaven.”
― Mencius

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

“If you let people follow their feelings, they will be able to do good. This is what is meant by saying that human nature is good.”
Mencius quotes

“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

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

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

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

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

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

“The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom. Men have these Four Beginnings just as they have their four limbs. Having these Four Beginnings, but saying that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves.”
― Mencius

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4 Comments


  1. Thank you for introducing me to Mencius. His quotes are indeed words to live by.

    Reply

  2. I’m not so sure about a good king loving music, if Nero is anything to go by. But perhaps he only loved the music he made himself, which is another thing, of course.

    Reply

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