Learning from The Teacher: Confucious

Matt | Confucius | Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Taken from the Analects of Confucious (kong fu zi) probably the most well-known Chinese teacher.

Zi Lu asked, “Should one respond immediately to a call?” Confucious said, “How can you respond immediately to a call with your father and eider brothers alive?

Ran You asked the same question, “Should one respond immediately to a call?”Confucious said, “Yes, one should.”

Gongxi Hua was deeply perplexed, saying, “I am puzzled. May I know why you gave two different answers to the same question?”

Confucious said, “Ran You usually hangs back, so I urge him on; Zhang You advances bravely and sometimes audaciously, so I hold him back.”

In teaching, you often have to adjust your style to the individual.  I quite enjoyed this quote as it reminded me that for a lot of people what they need is a little encouragement and confidence to get them going.  For others, they might be a bit too cocky and need to be reigned in bit.  Always with the intent on helping the individual learn.

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