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Confucius: Thoughts and Beliefs
The thoughts and sayings of Confucius can be referred to as analects of Confucius. They enjoy readership from generation to generation. They also remain quite relevant to today’s leadership. His teachings were quite phenomenon and applicable. Many of these teachings reflect on his life as a child. Also, most of his teachings are a reflection of his desire of how life should be in all aspects. This includes his views on leadership, social life and people.
He was against the leadership of the day. This put him in collision with the leadership of the day. He fled to another country. He served in the government of the day but for a short time. After returning, he set out his desire to pass down to his followers his teachings. Many people listened to the teachings of Confucius. He later died and his teachings enjoy readership in history lessons as classics as noted by Norden (45).
The teachings of this ruler, who was exceedingly revered in his reign during the Zhou dynasty, are quite applicable in today’s world. Confucius advocated for a harmonious living between people. The power he said was in the people. Everyone, including the leaders was under the umbrella of proper morals, which he said, was the linen from which the peace of the country was to be made. He advocated for utmost integrity.
This is still practiced in china and all over the world. Confucianism is an excellent way to govern people as it recognizes their rights. It does not oppress any one. Leaders are accountable for their actions. There is no room for absolute power. It also encompasses even the most recent concerns of the current times like environment. Confucius advised people to live harmoniously with everything that were at their disposal, including objects (Norden, 13).
On the issue of development, he was categorical that it is morally unacceptable to grow on that frontier and ignore other frontiers like cultural growth. He solidly believed that both should be seen to mature together as they intertwine. At some point, he believed, the two will need each other and hence it would be best to grow simultaneously rather than individually. He ideally believed that the world is made in such a way that all should be in harmony.
Therefore, in his advocacy for this, he taught people to be kind, not only to their fellow human beings, but also to animals, plantations and all that existed within and around them. Confucius believed there is a need to uphold things that were cultural and ritualistic. These two were largely mentioned by in his teachings and writings. These teachings are other wise called analects of Confucius. During his time, the cultural state of china was greatly respected and people associated with their culture (Norden, 3).
Applicability of Analects
These teachings of Confucius are quite applicable in the current world. His fervent beliefs in matters like environment are a headache to governments at the moment. Most governments are grappling with the problem of global warming and it remains to be the most challenging governments’ affair in the next century.
Therefore, his belief that people should live harmoniously with the environment is manifesting itself big-time. He was also a crusader for transparency in governments and public institutions. This also remains quite a challenge for governments. This is especially true in third world countries. These countries are grappling with the problem.
His ideal style of leadership which vests power in people is still practiced the world over. It was the reason for revolutions that were witnessed thereafter the world over. This was because people wanted to gain the power. He also wanted people to live in peace and have constant realization of the environment in which they lived in.
Confucius believed that people should also uphold their cultures. Lack of that, Confucius reiterated, led to lost identity. This is quite true in many countries who keep trying to uphold their identity. This is in forma of many ways including setting up museums and cultural centers (Norden, 23).
Overall, the analects of Confucius continue to shape the leadership of the moment in many ways. His societal dimensions in teachings are quite manifest in the world. His presence is felts in all aspects on human living. The leaders of his time ignored his teachings and at some time threatened to jail him.
However, he still rules as his values and teachings are the basis of policy making and leadership style in many countries. Compared to leaders of Sayers of his day like Han Feizi, his teachings have continued to stand the test of time. He had workable ideas concerning leadership. He advocated for rules and regulations and laws. The law of a country, Han Fei believed, was the main determinant of her strength or perceived weakness.
Countries that upheld law were strong and those that did not were weak. The people in the country should be seen to have strict adherence to the regulations and laws that govern them. When the public is content with the legalism of a nation, the country, Han Fei wrote, grows on many frontiers including economic, political and social. When a country lacks in legalism, it crumbles on those frontiers and institutions are not respected. There is also public grief towards leadership which may cause havoc.
He also pegged the security of a nation, on a number of areas, to how lawful it was. He said that countries where the private sector is regulated and correctly subdued, there was notable growth. However, if the private sector was rogue and uncontrollable, the country loses meaning and many of its institutions crumble. He also applied this to external threats saying that any country, whose internal legal system was credible, appeared to be strong to its enemies. The reverse is true for any country whose internal legal systems are weak (Norden, 45).
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In governing a country, Han Fei said it was important to have morals but they did not supersede the need for regulation. Regulation was the basis from which morality was born according to Han Fei. This is in sharp contrast with Confucianism and hence the reason why Han Fei was critical of leaders who employed during his time.
He also seemed to have a soft spot for leadership. He said that it was important for a leader to enjoy legal freedom so as to be able to govern. However, Confucius was of the opinion that leadership should be the initial demonstrators of good morals and hence punished first in case they contravened the same. In Han Fei’s opinion, this served the purpose of weakening them. During his time, there was little, or dwindling, regard for cultural ways of the Chinese according to (Norden, 47).
Han Fei also said that commendation was very important. Leaders should employ it and use often to motivate its delegations. When a minister does something good he should praised and honored. On the contrary, Han Fei said this should go hand in hand with chastisements.
Ministers who violate the king’s orders should be reprimanded and possible relieved of his duties. However, his idea for chastisement was highly controversial. This includes torture, death and imprisonment. Commendation is in form of rewards, gifts and accolades. This style of leadership was very common soon after the death of Han Fei. The kings that ruled thereafter were very happy since they could easily pass on their helm to their family putting into consideration Han Fei’s easy ride to it.
Confucius advocated for a harmonious living between people. The power he said was in the people. Everyone, including the leaders was under the umbrella of proper morals which he said was the linen from which the peace of the country was to be made. He advocated for utmost integrity.
This is still practiced in china and all over the world. Confucianism is a great way to govern people as it recognizes their rights. It does not oppress any one like is the case in Han Feizi. Leaders are held accountable for their actions and there is no absolute power. It also encompasses even the most recent concerns of our times like environment. Confucius advised people to live harmoniously with everything that were at their disposal, including objects (Norden, 45).
Confucius was the father of Confucianism which is majorly practiced the world over. It is especially true in china. Chinese people revere Confucius for the manner in which he has shaped the politics of the nation up to date. Although he may have been unpopular with the leaders of the yester years, he is remarkably popular with the current leaders who look up to him for leadership ways.
He also remains to be the most popular. He spirit lives on and is manifest in the many ways his teachings affect people, both socially and leadership wise as noted by Norden (14).
Norden, Van. Confucius and the Analects: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.