Wisdom, Confucius Philosophy
Confucius was the first person to make education available to everyone, so that it was no longer the privilege of the noble or wealthy people. Confucius' thoughts and philosophies has a great influence on Asian people's daily life. There are four main theories of Confucius' thoughts. First is the combination of politics and morality. Confucius' ultimate political goal was to have a world which was based on the moral, and to have no need for a government to exist. On the other hand, Confucius still approved of the existence of government, law, ceremony, and music; because he believed that these things were necessary for reaching the final goal. The second goal was to reach a peaceful world by establishing a society filled with good manners. The third goal concerns humanity. Confucianism compares man by the standard of man, and the highest level is the true manhood, which is called "jen" in Chinese. He also thought that if a country was filled with honest men, then the country must be peaceful and wonderful. This is because the order of the world is based on personal cultivation. If a man loves and respects his father, then he will extend this love and respect to his country. The fourth theory was that the leader's action will effect the people he rules. It is like: if the upper beam is not straight, the lower ones will go aslant.
Confucius' thoughts have been developed and spread throughout the world for a long time. Mostly in Asian countries like Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Unlike other religions, Confucianism didn't have any missionaries, monks, or pilgrims to help spread the influence. The influence of Confucius lasts so long and spreads so wild because it emphasizes the relationship between humans, especially the relationship between the ruler and the people. It is different from Buddhism and Taoism because it tries to solve the problems instead of running away from them; it is also unlike other religion because it does not speak of immortality, reincarnation, or mystical things. The secret of Confucius' strong influence is that the teachings were directed particularly toward the government and the emperor. It not only advocates the upper-class, but it also protects the emperor's power because it tells people to respect their emperors and not to stand up to against them. Of course, this was not the original purpose of Confucius' teaching, it was derived from a part of his thoughts by the emperor himself. Things will always adapt through the passage of time, like Confucianism adapts to the Western influence and establishes itself deeply in Chinese daily life, action and moral thoughts. That is why if you compare the families of Western and Eastern Countries, you will find that the people of Eastern Countries have closer ties with their family, and usually live with their parents and sometimes even their grandparents. Confucianism is also responsible for the economic success of the Asian and the Pacific Rim Nations. People respect authority and work for long hours. Sometimes they will work overtime to finish a task. This dedication is also seen at a very young age. The students in Asia study in school for long hours. Sometimes they go to after school classes in the evenings or on the weekend. People in Western countries cannot imagine this. The students in Taiwan have to study hard from when they are very young, just to can gain a position in a good high school or university. It is like the ancient times when scholars had to study very hard and try to pass the imperial examinations. They needed to pass so they could become government officials; a position considered by Confucians to be of the highest honor.
Confucius still stands for wisdom and authority in the modern world. Students can learn of his opinions from the Analects in school, and many modern people share his desire for a peaceful society, a balance between nature and humankind, honesty, and faithfulness. People have been trying to accomplish these goals for over twenty-five hundred years, since Confucius' time. Is it possible for these goals to be reached before another twenty-five hundred years passes?