Analects 4:6

Confucius said

I am not finding people who love jen or people who hate non jen.

Someone who loves jen would esteem nothing above it. Someone who hates non jen would practice jen in a way that he would not allow anything that is non jen to approach himself.

Has any person for one day managed to devote himself to jen ? And I have never seen a person whose ability for this was not sufficient. Should there possibly be such a case, I have never seen it.

I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous.

He who loved virtue, would esteem nothing above it. He who hated what is not virtuous, would practice virtue in such a way that he would not allow anything that is not virtuous to approach his person.

Is any one able for one day to apply his strength to virtue? I have not seen the case in which his strength would be insufficient. Should there possibly be any such case, I have not seen it. L

I do not now see a man who really loves a moral life; or one who really hates an immoral life.

One who realty loves a moral life would esteem nothing above it. One who really hates an immoral life would be a moral man who would not allow anything the least immoral in his life.

Nevertheless, if a man were really to exert himself for one single day to live a moral life, I do not believe he will find that he has not the strength to do it. At least I have never heard of such a case. K


We all have the strength, capacity, and ability to devote and apply ourselves to jen, and we all have free will that cannot be taken away.

In order to become a jen person, each individual must truly maximize the use of his nascent capacity for jen, wish for and love jen and thereby esteem nothing else above it, and hate non jen and thereby practice jen in order to avoid non jen.

Only by doing so can one employ time properly and live a divinely satisfying life.

Most people, however, only love and devote themselves to parts of jen, but leave it at that while retaining much impurity.

If a person is not up to the ideal of a jen person, it is because he does not do what he ought to do, and not because he cannot do what he ought to do.

Inability is an unacceptable excuse unless one actually treads the path of jen and fails to make it all the way.

One must not self-imposedly avoid devoting himself to jen just because he is not sure he can fulfill all of it.

In esteeming nothing above jen, one values and is loyal to tao only.

One must first establish resolution, and make up one’s mind to do best daily.

It is not enough to embrace te without liberally and tenaciously seeking to develop and enlarge it, and to believe in tao without firm earnestness.