Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best Entrepreneurial Quotes, Week 15

"Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."
Confucius, Chinese philosopher, 551 BC – 479 BC

Just finished a Post column on an Ottawa entrepreneur who’s just had a big breakthrough in China, so I was in a Confucian state of mind.

Confucius was a scholar born into a warrior family in 551 BC (or BCE), in what is now the coastal province of Shandong. Founded on virtue, morality, justice and peace, his philosophy became a tenet of Chinese and other Asian governments governments that lasted until the 1800s. He emphasized self-development and self-mastery, and favored judgment over rules – making him an honorary entrepreneur, in my eyes.

To give you an idea of how cool Chinese culture is, the rulers of China have honored Confucius’s descendants for 2,000 years, naming them marquis or duke right up until 1935. According to Wikipedia, Confucius's family, the Kongs, has the longest recorded pedigree in the world. The father-to-son family tree is now in its 83rd generation.

Eight more Confucian quotes worth pondering by 21st-century business people:

"Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes."
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."
"Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.”

"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."
"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
"To know your faults and be able to change is the greatest virtue."

"He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good."
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

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