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Analects collection


Following up on my previous post, here are lists of some comparisons that Confucius did between 【君子】true leader and 【小人】the little man. There might be more, but this list is interesting for your reference.


1. 君子周而不比、小人比而不周 【為政第二】

True leaders meet fairly with people without bias. The little men are biased and unfair.


2. 君子喩於義、小人喩於利【里仁第四】

Ture leader understands justice, while the little men focus on their benefit.


I struggled to translate this one. Why? Because “利” also means profit. If focusing on profit means being the little men, business people suffer. Confucius did concentrate on agriculture, not commerce. But he did not deny business. In Japan, we have this strong tradition, started by Eiichi Shibusawa, to apply Confucianism to business.


3. 君子坦蕩蕩、小人長戚戚【述而第七】

True leaders stay peaceful and calm. The little men are constantly irritated.


4. 君子成人美不成人之悪小人反是【顔淵第十二】

The true leader develops people’s strengths while preventing the weakness from developing. The little men do the opposite.


5. 君子和而不同、小人同而不和【子路第十三】

True leaders create harmony but have their opinion. The little men compromise easily but are not necessarily peaceful.


This sentence is about identity. It is about leaders having their identity. In contrast, the little men are passive.


6. 君子泰而不驕、小人驕而不泰【子路第十三】

True leaders are not arrogant and calm. The little men are snobbish and noisy.


7. 君子上達小人下達【憲問第十四】

True leaders develop, and the little men decline.


From this context, true leaders gain education and morals. They develop toward the ideal. The little men chase small technics.


8. 君子求諸己、小人求諸人【衛霊公第十五】

True leaders see the cause in themselves. The little men blame the others.


By looking into this list;

A. It is a good list for reflection.

B. Ohno selected “drastic change” out of all these choices to start his book.

C. Analects are amazing

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