Book 16, verse 10 in the Analects of Confucius offers some sagely advice for the aspiring gentleman in the form of the Nine Considerations (九思, jiǔsī in modern Mandarin). Included here is the translation provided by Tsai Chih-Chung’s illustrated version of the Analects, translated by Brian Bruya.
- When looking, be mindful of clarity.
- When listening, be mindful of acuity.
- For facial expression, be mindful of geniality.
- For demeanor, be mindful of deference.
- When speaking, be mindful of sincerity.
- When acting, be mindful of reverence.
- When confused, be mindful of inquiring.
- When angry, be mindful of the consequences.
- When seeing the chance of gain, be mindful of what is right.
And an alternate translation is provided by Prof. Charles A.C. Muller online:
[16:10] Confucius said: “There are nine patterns which are awarenesses of the Gentleman. In seeing, he is aware of clarity; in listening, he is aware of sharpness; in faces, is aware of warmth; with behavior he is aware of courtesy; in speech, sincerity; in service, reverence. In doubt, he is inclined to question; when angry, he is aware of the inherent difficulties. When he sees an opportunity for gain, he thinks of what would be Just.”
Good words to live by.
P.S. This is another one of my “reference” posts I like to put for readers and Google searches.