The Confucius biography: The importance of compassion

Kong Qui, better known as Confucius, was born in 551 B.C. in the Lu state of China (near present-day Qufu). Confucius was an influential philosopher and his ideology – known as Confucianism – embraces the importance of compassion, education and ethical social interaction. Confucius’ teachings are considered to be way ahead of his time.

The Confucius biography: Childhood

Confucius’ childhood background is unclear, due to conflicting accounts. We don’t know if he was born into wealth or poverty. According to the “Records of the Historian”, Confucius was born into a royal family during the Chou Dynasty. However, other accounts say he was born into poverty. We do know that he lived during a period of moral decline in China and that he dreamed of a just and peaceful land.

The Confucius biography: Leading by example

His enlightened ideas about the importance of compassion and that people became better when they were educated, was considered to be extremely radical at the time. He spent years roaming through China, teaching people to live with integrity, but he was largely ignored by most of the rulers of China’s states. Finally, at age 50, he was made Governor of the state of Lu. He saw this as a great opportunity to change China for the better and he set about leading by positive example and implementing his principles of human rights, liberty and equality.

The Confucius biography: His legacy lives on

It is believed that Confucius wrote and edited some of the most revered and influential Chinese classics. The work “Lunyu”, – believed to have been written by his disciples – describes Confucius’ philosophical and political beliefs and is available in English under the title “The Analects of Confucius”.

Confucius died in 479 B.C. believing that his teachings had made very little impact on Chinese culture. However, he was later recognised as a sage and his ideals of Confucianism became the official imperial philosophy of China. Today he is considered to be one of the most influential teachers in all of Chinese history and his ideology is recognised and appreciated globally.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” –  Confucius