The Ideal Person
The Ideal Person
The Ideal person is one of several teachings that Confucius taught. Confucius believed that the ideal person would become an excellent leader and nurture and harmonious society. Confucius believed that both an ideal person and a harmonious society complemented each other. He believed that the ideal person could keep society in tune and a in tune society could produce ideal people. In Confucius eyes everyone has the capability of achieving this level. This was different than the Daoism belief that one can only achieve this level only through isolation.
Confucius believed that in order for harmony to exist in society everyone had a role to play (MOLLOY). He placed these roles into the five great relationships. The first was Father-son relationship, which Confucius considers to be the core of the foundation of Society. Second, was Elder brother-Younger brother relationship, the elder brother had a responsibility on raising his/her younger siblings. The third responsibility was husband and wife, which meant that they must care for one another. The fourth responsibility was Elder-younger, which meant the Elder person had a responsibility on lending a hand to the younger generation. Finally the fifth responsibility was ruler-subject, which meant the rulers were presented as a father figure to all.
Just as social harmony comes from the living out of the Five Great Relationships, so personal excellence comes from the manifestation of five virtues. The first of these virtues is ren. The Chinese definition of ren is to think of others. Western translation would use the words of sympathy, empathy, kindness and benevolence are just a few. The Second virtue is Li, which is defined as doing what is appropriate. Confucius believed that the ideal person should act a certain why in social situation. This includes all mannerism speech, dress and the way you carry yourself. The third virtue is Shu which translate to “reciprocity.
According to the Merrian-Webster dictionary reciprocity is define as a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights (Merrian-webster dictionary online, 2014). Confucius believed that one should view his/her action on how the other person would encounter the outcome. The fourth virtue is Xiao (hsiao), which is translated “filial piety (devotion of offspring to parents). This is where the kids not only honor their parents, but also the remembrance of their ancestors is just as important. The fifth virtue is Wen, which translate to “culture”. It was Confucius belief that all men should not only be educated but have knowledge of the arts.
Confucius ideal person would differ from the western man of today. Confucius felt the ideal person should have sincerity in everything that he or she does. Confucius did not mean for his ideal person to do things from the heart. Confucius meaning of sincerity is to do things that best benefited society. This is where the western man has struggle since the birth of this nation. Things are not done to benefit society but to benefit ones wealth. In all Confucius ideal person would bring harmony and nurture a good society. .
(Merrian-webster dictionary online, 2014) Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ reciprocity (MOLLOY) Retrieved form Experiencing The World Religions