Analects 4:17

Confucius said

When you see hsien, think of emulating it.

When you see non hsien, inwardly examine yourself.

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. L

When you see a good man, think of emulating him; when you see a bad man, examine your own heart. G

When we meet with men of worth, we should think how we may equal them.

When we meet with worthless men, we should turn into ourselves and findout if we do not resemble them. K

When you see a man of worth, think how to rise to his level.

When you see an unworthy man, then look within and examine yourself. S

At sight of worth, think to grow like it.

When evil meets thee, search thine own heart. H

When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him.

When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points. M


The chun tzu utilizes what he observes in order to cultivate himself.

Though people are different, situations are unique, and one should not draw over-generalizations from examples, a person should emulate hsien and use it to spur himself on, and use non hsien to gain awareness of his own non hsien .

Generally speaking, it is far easier to see others’ faults than our own—and thus, it is important to use our observations of others’ hsien unworthiness in order to gain awareness of and insight on our own.