Confucious was wandering scholar from the state of Lu who was concerned about the state of affairs in China. He puzzled over what had gone wrong and how China could get back on the right path. In doing so, he founded a tradition that that would have enormous influence over how subsequent rulers and officials would organize and govern China.
Confucious taught a code of behavior rather than religion. It was a practical code, one that could be applied to everyday life at all levels of Chinese government and society.
Confucius thought that if everyone understood his or her place in the world, and what was expected by others, then peace and harmony would rule. He singled out five relationships for people to understand: between husband and wife, father and son, older and younger brother, friend and friend, and ruler and ruled.
Confucius taught that people should behave honorably toward family members and others in the community. Loyalty, respect, sincerity, and courtesy were highly valued. He came up with the famous Golden Rule. Do not do to others, he wrote, what you would not want them to do to you.
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