The Five Virtues of Confucius

“To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.”

Confucius taught five virtues a gentleman should practice every day to live a healthy, harmonious life:

Ren, ren, is the virtue of benevolence, charity, and humanity;

Yi, yi, of honesty and uprightness;

may be broken down into zhong, zhong , doing one’s best, conscientiousness, loyalty; and

shù, zhu, reciprocity, altruism, consideration for others, and Confucius’ early version of the Golden Rule, “what you don’t want yourself, don’t do to others.”

Zhi, zhi, knowledge;

Xin, xin, the virtue of faithfulness and integrity; and,

Li, li, correct behavior, or propriety, good manners, politeness, ceremony, worship.