Analects 14:4

Confucius said

When tao prevails in your surrounding, speak audaciously high and act audaciously high.

When tao does not prevail in your surrounding, act audaciously high, but speak with reserve.

When good government prevails in a state, language may be lofty and bold, and actions the same.

When bad government prevails, the actions may be lofty and bold, but the language may be with some reserve. L

In a well-governed country, speak boldly and act boldly.

In a country where lawlessness prevails, let your actions be bold but your speech tactful. G 103

When the government is just, you may speak boldly and act boldly; when you have an unjust government, you may act boldly, but be careful of what you say. M


The chun tzu has his views and thoughts, but is careful about expressing them when in an environment of people who lack high character.

He will not compromise his conduct for the sake of others, but sometimes will refrain from being completely open and forthright in his speech.

Few people are interesting in sharing perspectives with others in a search for truth, but most people will respond close-mindedly and cruelly to what dissents with their views and reflects prejudicially against their vanity or self-interest.