Who is Confucius?
Confucius was born around the year 551 BC in China, in a very humble environment. It is said that he was orphaned as a small boy, since there is no records of his parents. While he was growing up China was in despair with warfare and corruption running rampant. This gloom in China is what some felt led Confucius to teach his philosophies of having a good moral standing or having jen which means humaneness. Confucius is will known for some phrases that give meaning to what a good up standing citizen represents. Two of my personal favorites are the following:
“Courtesy, generosity, good faith, diligence and kindness. If you behave with courtesy, then you will not be insulted; if you are generous, then you will win the multitude; if you are of good faith, then other men will put their trust in you; if you are diligent, then you will be able to command others.:
“When you are away from home, behave as if receiving an important guest. Employ the people as if you were officiating at a great sacrifice. Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state”.
It is believed that Confucius died around the time of 479 BC. At the time of his death Confucius was virtually unknown to the public at large. It was not until 100 BC that his teachings took hold in China and lasted until the Communist take over in the 1900s. During this time ChinaÕs entire political structure revolved around his teachings. Students in school where also required to study Confucianism. As time progressed his teachings spread from China, north to Korea, and into Japan.
The Confucian tradition in Pacific Asia has contributed to this process; it exploits an overall familistic solidarity that extends to a social contract shared by the entire nation.(Rozman; Pacific Century).
Family accomplishments are rated higher than individual accomplishment. This is because Confucianism stresses correct relations in hierarchy form. For example, it is honorable to the family if one is involved in the prestige and success of its business. Also in business, managers put the family concept into practice with their attempt to personalize and to take seriously the job of running a company. An example being the big auto makers in Japan. They have contracts with companies to build, for example, seat belts. Japanese auto makers will NEVER let these smaller companies go out of business. These small companies will not make a lot of money, but there jobs are secure. Because of this family like compassion on helping each other, that was taught by Confucius, insures this fact.
Confucianism is often referred to as a religion although, it is not. Confucianism has no teachings of an afterlife or of a divine being. There is no clergy, or prayers. Confucianism is the concept of being righteous and honest, and bringing ones self to high respectability.