A Grand Master For All AgesA Grand Master For All Ages

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today’s mental workout for Superhero Tuesdays celebrates one of the wisest of them all, a man considered so wise they named him Grand Master. Confucius lived in China about 2500 years ago, however, his teachings are still widely popular and relevant too. His curiosity for self-awareness in an infinite universe began as a teenager and continued for the rest of his life, he was an avid believer in lifelong learning. While still a very young man, he started his career as a teacher, however, what was different for his time is that he wished to open up education for everybody, including the working classes, not just the aristocracy as was prevalent then. Confucius focused his teachings on character building as opposed to vocational training. He emphasized moral development of the individual in order that the state can be governed by moral virtue instead of coercion. Confucius espoused five ideal virtues, benevolence, honesty, knowledge, integrity and correct behavior to aspire to a life of harmony, and all this coming from a politician. Congress take note! You can imagine a politician with his sound and idealistic view in life would not be popular, perhaps in any era of time, it wasn’t long before very powerful enemies, defenders of the status quo forced him into exile, or early retirement as it were. However, Confucius still managed to carry his message across all throughout China.

Confucianism began to spread like wildfire from China, Japan and Korea and eventually faraway parts of the world. His teaching are timeless of course, as simple as just treating others how you wish to be treated, the law of reciprocity. Confucius was one of the early motivational gurus advising those that would listen about the importance of striving for goals and seeking the deeper meaning of life beyond the superficial. He encouraged people to meditate and focus on the good thought patterns they desired not just to benefit themselves, but the entire society too. Confucius lived during very turbulent and chaotic times when men were driven to war and material gain by any means necessary, he tried to bestow on leaders the importance of leading an exemplary life and allowing for more freedom in society. His words of wisdom for anger management are very effective, “when anger rises, think of the consequences.” He also hits the nail on the head with “it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop,” in other words, get time on your side. Confucius warned about the self-sabotage of humans, making the concept of life much more complicated than necessary, he urged people to recognize its simplicity. We thank the Grand Master for his eternal contribution to mankind and part with these eloquent last words "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”