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Mencius Quotes

Friendship is one mind in two bodies.
Mencius
Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.
Mencius (Quoted in The Works of Mencius, 1970)
We survive on adversity and perish in ease and comfort.
Mencius (Quoted in Mencius, 2004)
Never has a man who has bent himself been able to make others straight.
Mencius (Quoted in the Life and Works of Mencius: With Essays and Notes, 1875)
If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.
Mencius
The way of truth is like a great road. It is not difficult to know it. The evil is only that men will not seek it.
Mencius (Quoted in the Life and Works of Mencius: With Essays and Notes, 1875)
Truth uttered before its time is always dangerous.
Mencius
He who soars not, suffers not by a fall. 
Mencius
He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.
Mencius
Dig your well before you are thirsty.
Mencius
Only he who has studied his mental constitution knows his nature; knowing his nature, he knows Heaven.
Mencius (Quoted in The Works of Mencius, 1970)
To nourish the heart there is nothing better than to make the desires few. Here is a man whose desires are few; in some things he may not be able to keep his heart, but they will be few. Here is a man whose desires are many; in some things he may be able to keep his heart, but they will be few.
Mencius
He whose goodness is part of himself, is what is called a real man.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1861)
In abundance prepare for scarcity.
Mencius
To be incorruptible by riches or honours, unchangeable by poverty. These I call, the qualities of a great man.
Mencius (Quoted in The Wisdom of the Chinese, 2005)
Man does not live by experience alone, but by transcending experience. 
Mencius
Kindly words do not enter so deeply into men as a reputation for kindness.
Mencius (Quoted in the Life and Works of Mencius: With Essays and Notes, 1875)
Human nature is good, just as water seeks low ground. There is no man who is not good, just as there is no water that does not flow downward.
Mencius
The wise embrace all knowledge, but they are most earnest about what is of the greatest importance.
Mencius (Quoted in The Wisdom of the Chinese, 2005)
When men die of famine, you say it is the season that is to blame. What does this differ from saying, when you have caused a man's death. "It was not I, but the weapon"?
Mencius
The labor of duty is easy, yet men seek it in what is difficult.
Mencius
Friends are the siblings God never gave us.
Mencius
The Way of Learning is nothing other than seeking the lost mind.
Variant: The object of learning is nothing else but to seek for the lost mind.
Variant: The end of wisdom is to seek the lost mind.
Mencius (Quoted in the Life and Works of Mencius: With Essays and Notes, 1875)
What is whispered in the ear is heard miles away.
Mencius
A real man is one whose goodness is a part of himself. Of the qualities of the sage, none is greater than that of being a helper of men to right Living. He is ashamed of a reputation beyond his desert. Having found the right way within himself, he rests in it, firm and serene, holding intimate converse with it, and reaching to its fountain-head. He obeys the right and waits for the appointed. His words are plain and simple, yet of widest bearing. His aim is self culture, yet it gives peace to all men.
Mencius
The wise place virtue in thought.
Mencius
The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute; - he simply speaks and does what is right.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1870)
If you have not passed the bitterness of starvation, you know not the blessings of abundance; if not through the parting of death, you know not the joy of unbroken union; if not through calamity, the pleasure of security; if not through storms, the Luxury of calm.
Mencius
There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1861)
Act with kindness, but do not exact gratitude. Give by day, and your reward shall spring by night.
Mencius
Let not a man do what his sense of right bids him not to do, nor desire what it forbids him to desire. This is sufficient. The skillful artist will not alter his measures for the sake of a stupid workman.
Mencius
Sincerity is the way of Heaven.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1861)
Think reasonably, be strong for virtue, Lean on humanity, and in all things be content.
Mencius
The path of duty lies in what is near, and men seek for it in what is remote; the work of duty lies in what is easy, and men seek for it in what is difficult.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1861)
To help another helps yourself.
Mencius
How Long can the opening flower keep its bloom?
Mencius
All things are already complete in us. There is no greater delight than to be conscious of right within us. If one strive to . treat others as he would be treated by them, he shall not fail to come near the perfect life. Every duty is a charge, but the charge of oneself is the root of all others. The disease of men is to neglect their own fields and go to weeding those of others, to exact much from others and Lay Light burdens on themselves.
Mencius
Men expect by their own darkness to enlighten others. The artisan may give a man compass and square, but he cannot make him skillful in the use of them.
Mencius
He who seeks to be rich will not be benevolent. He who wishes to be benevolent will not be rich.
Mencius (Quoted in The Chinese Classics, 1861)
The wise questions himself, the fool others.
Mencius
To dwell in the wide house of the world; to stand in true attitude therein; to walk in the wide path of men; in success, to share one's principles with the people; in failure, to Live them out alone; to be incorruptible by riches or honors, unchangeable by poverty, unmoved by perils or power, — these I call the qualities of a great man.
Mencius
We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.
Mencius
Evil exists to glorify the good. Evil is negative good. It is a relative term. Evil can be transmuted into good. What is evil to one at one time, becomes good at another time to somebody else.
Mencius
Great is the man who has not lost his childlike heart.
Variant: The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart
Mencius (Quoted in The Works of Mencius, 1970)
Mencius Biography
Born: 371 B.C.E.
Died: 289 B.C.E.

Mencius was a great Chinese philosopher. He has a major role in the Confucian tradition and his importance in the tradition is second only to that of Confucius himself.
 
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