Analysis Of Confucius's Analects

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In the Analects, Confucius argues that wealth is something not “worth pursuing” (7.12). However, this does not imply it is better to be poor than to be rich, but rather asserts that happiness is attainable at any status given a person follows proper customs. As Confucius says, the ideal state is being “poor and yet joyful, rich and yet loving ritual” (1.15). Confucius relates the worth of the person to their actions instead of their financial or societal status. Even for his students he declares that those ashamed of wearing “shabby clothing” or recieving “meager rations” are not even worth conversing with (4.9). Here the argument is more of learning to not be ashamed of yourself rather than looking at the wealthy in a negative light. In fact, …show more content…
This is a person unmoved by material possessions and he who values happiness and ritual more than his wealth. Even a good ruler, as Confucius describes, should only be content then the needs of the common people are satisfied (12.9). Also, this ruler should be able to hold confidence in his people and choose the people over all things, including sufficient food or firearms (12.7). Therefore, it seems credible to say that Confucius places the worth of the people above things money can buy, even if those things are essential for life. Confucius personally prefers to follow and pursue things he loves and wealth is clearly not something he considers valuable, as demonstrated in Analects 7.12. He claims he would be willing to serve in the market place as an officer holding a whip, had wealth been worth pursuing (7.12). Instead of pursuing wealth, Confucius in a sense teaches to be grateful of what we were given and make the most out of it, whether we have wealth or live in poverty. Confucius does not despise poverty as long as it is properly avoided, just as he does not abide by wealth and fame unless they are rightfully attained (4.5). A few feasible criticisms can be made regarding Confucius’s views on wealth. First off, it seems contradicting to claim wealth is not worth pursuing when he also does not encourage poverty if it can be properly avoided. Furthermore, the idea that wealth is not necessary for joy and happiness is not entirely valid as some wealth will be necessary to fulfill the needs of the common people as Confucius

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