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Xun Zi quotes

A person is born with a liking for profit.

Thus, anybody who follows this nature and gives way its states will be led into quarrels and conflicts, and go against the conventions and rules of society, and will end up a criminal.

A person is born with desires of the eyes and ears, and a liking for beautiful sights and sounds. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to immorality and lack of restriction, and any ritual principles and propriety will be abandoned.

The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.

Music is a fantastic peacekeeper of the world, it is integral to harmony, and it is a required fundamental of human emotion.

Human nature is such that people are born with a love of profit If they follow these inclinations, they will struggle and snatch from each other, and inclinations to defer or yield will die.

If the gentleman has ability, he is magnanimous, generous, tolerant, and straightforward, through which he opens the way to instruct others.

Those whose character is mean and vicious will rouse others to animosity against them.

If knowledge and foresight are too penetrating and deep, unify them with ease and sincerity.

Quarreling over food and drink, having neither scruples nor shame, not knowing right from wrong, not trying to avoid death or injury, not fearful of greater strength or of greater numbers, greedily aware only of food and drink - such is the bravery of the dog and boar.

The petty man is eager to make boasts, yet desires that others should believe in him. He enthusiastically engages in deception, yet wants others to have affection for him. He conducts himself like an animal, yet wants others to think well of him.

A person is born with feelings of envy and hate. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to violence and crime, and any sense of loyalty and good faith will be abandoned.

In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth.

Human nature is evil, and goodness is caused by intentional activity.

The rigid cause themselves to be broken; the pliable cause themselves to be bound.

When people lack teachers, their tendencies are not corrected; when they do not have ritual and moral principles, then their lawlessness is not controlled.

I once tried thinking for an entire day, but I found it less valuable than one moment of study.

If the quickness of the mind and the fluency of the tongue are too punctilious and sharp, moderate them in your activity and rest.

The coming of honor or disgrace must be a reflection of one's inner power.

I once tried standing up on my toes to see far out in the distance, but I found that I could see much farther by climbing to a high place.