I just came upon this long phrase online. It is said that this is one of Kong Fuzi (Confucius) creation.
To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
Now, doesn’t this sound very familiar to the phrase “xiu sheng yang xing, cheng jia li ye, zi guo” (cultivate heart & mind, start family & establish career, control the kingdom).
Basically, Confucius has always maintain that, everything starts from oneself. If you want to achieve anything, or even change anything (even as big as a country), you start from the most basic level, yourself. It starts from the right heart. The question is “what is the right heart?”. Do we go all the way, and give everything we have to the poor? Is that the right heart? Do we oppose evil and strike against the king? Is that the right heart? no.
For this, I think Confucius advocate choosing the ‘middle way’ (Zhong yong). Always find a balance and follow it. For instance, it is right for us to pursue wealth and accumulate assets. But we cannot overdo it and neglect or hurt others. During a competitive environment (either u get it or I get it), it is ok to fight for it, but please do not kill off your competitor. When we talk about superior and he is a bad man, a cultivated person who follows Zhong Yong method will not purposely talk bad about his superior. There is always a level of respect. However, depending on situation, a cultivated person will speak only what is necessary. If it is necessary to reveal his wrong doing to save many others, then he will do it.
By following Confucius principle, to cultivate & set our heart right, you will start to appreciate that nothing is ever anyone’s else fault. And even if it really is, it is our own fault because we choose to be close to it. So, we can never blame others for what happened to our life. Especially when it seemed like there is nothing we can do and it is control by others. There is always something we can do. Even praying or just avoiding it completely. For example, u buy food and the food is sold out. Is it your fault? No. What if u blame others? Then it becomes your fault. Well, just don’t eat. Simple. Easier said than done, but that is the correct way.