By Andrea Lozano (undergraduate FIGRI student)
A few days ago, I had to read the “Analects of Confucius” for my seminar called “Asia” and in this article I would like to share some of the passages of moral teachings that I have found useful. I have realized that they are so basic and helpful for making your life simpler since they are guidelines of how to approach different circumstances and to maintain your relationships with others in the most peaceful and smart way.
The passage I liked the most is “Don´t have friends who are not like you”. I think that if you consider this a rule when getting to know somebody, you will avoid most of the possible conflicts that end up making people hate each other and feel resentment. It is not about seeking people who have same ideas, tastes, hobbies, way of life or thinking as you. It´s about being sure the person has the same values you were taught to have before you give the best of yourself in a friendship that the other person won´t appreciate. If you find out the person is like you in that sense, then you will be sure about what to expect from her/him when facing tough situations and you will probably make a constructive relationship that affords beauty, calm and support to your life.
Another relationship that becomes essential in your life when it happens is the one you have with your boyfriend/girlfriend. If you have a mate, it is supposed that he/she is your friend, so should have already implemented the first rule that says he/she is like you. For that special relationship you should add: “Make fidelity and sincerity your baseline”. This will assure the building of trust between both of you and will keep you away from jealousy. In a very logical way, one can assume that this special kind of friend will offer you respect, tranquility and love while helping you grow as a better human being. You will gain self-confidence, self-esteem and joy while sharing beautiful moments together.
However, I think that not even practicing every single instruction of Confucius can really assure you that you won´t be harmed by people you love, like being betrayed by a friend or suffering heartbreak. In those kinds of moments in which it is difficult to keep calm and think clearly of what to do or say, and basically because you may realize you haven´t grown up enough, you need a very definite direction to get over it. Then is when the following quote is useful: “Don´t talk about matters already done, you may not protest about what has happened, you may not blame the past”. If you have got the willpower to do what Confucius said, you will see that you will have your mind clean about what happened up to the point you forget it, as you are not constantly bringing it to your mind when talking about it and when hearing what people have to say about it.
I hope you have learned something useful from reading this article as I did when reading the Analects of Confucius. You should really consider these directions for experiencing harmony in your life and finding equilibrium between your inner and outer person, the interactions with other people and the situations that result of that way of life.