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‘Humanity’ and ‘filial piety’ are probably the most important believes that Confucius had; he uses these two words more than any other words in ‘The Analects of Confucius’. Among many other things Confucius had mentioned, ‘humanity’ is the central thought of Confucianism that Confucius had believed everything starts from the ‘humanity’. ‘Humanity’ in a Chinese character means a combination of human and number two, which means how you should treat others when there are two or more people.
It can be a relationship between husband and wife, sisters, brothers, and friends.
Confucius basically wanted people to treat others with a love and treat others like you want others to treat you. Although, the most important thing is how you treat your parents. Confucius points out the importance of ‘filial piety’ by saying the root of ‘humanity’ is ‘filial piety’. “A man who respects his parents and his elders would hardly be inclined to defy his superiors. To respect parents and elders is the root of humanity”.
(1. 2) In Confucianism, ‘filial piety’ is a fundamental moral standard and furthermore the most important teaching from Confucius. However, the definition of ‘filial piety’ is not just how you take care of your parents such as feeding them but you have to show your parents a respect and also show them a good attitudes. (2. 7, 2. 8) To practice ‘filial piety’ towards one’s parents, you also do not want to give any anxiety to your parents.
It also means that you do not want to harm your body even including your hair (this is why people at the time did not cut their hairs for their whole life) because your body is what your parents had given to you.
‘Filial piety’ is not only important when parents are alive but also important after their parents had passed away that they have to do the memorial ceremony for their ancestors with a respect like ancestors are still alive.
Confucius mentions about the elders whenever he mentions about ‘Filial piety’, he believes that you do not only show respect to your parents but also to other people who are at your parents’ age. As grown up in the culture where there are still many elderly people believe in Confucianism, showing respect to people who are older than you is important especially to people who are at your parents’ age because they are also someone’s parents and you want your parents to treated as you treat others’ parents.
In conclusion, ‘humanity’ is the central thought of Confucianism. ‘Filial piety’ is what Confucius had thought most important factor of ‘humanity’. ‘Filial piety means how you show a respect to your parents but it also indicates how you respect your leaders and show an honor to your country. Confucius points out ‘filial piety’ is a fundamental of love others, respecting your leaders and show an honor to your country, so basically Confucius had though ‘filial piety’ is the root of ‘humanity’.
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