Jamesfucius!

James and his teachers talked more about Confucius this week.  Here is their discussion:

When Confucius was about 15 years old, he became quite interested in learning. In those days, only the nobility and royals were allowed education. All the teachers were government officials. It was hard for Confucius to find a way to learn, so he went to work for a nobleman. This gave him the opportunity to learn and to travel to the imperial capital.

What made it difficult for Confucius to pursue an education?  ONLY ROYALTY WERE EDUCATED

What was his solution?  WORKED FOR NOBLEMAN

Confucius studied and learned until he probably was the most learned man of his day. People heard of his knowledge and sent their sons to study with him. He was the first private teacher in China. Confucius taught anyone who was eager to learn. His ideas, called Confucianism, stress the need to develop responsibility and moral character through rigid rules of behavior.

How was Confucius different as an educator? EDUCATED ANYONE WHO WOULD WANT TO LEARN

What were the principles of Confucianism?  RESPONSIBILITY AND MORAL CHARACTER

Confucianism is not, properly speaking, a religion; it’s a way of behaving, so you’ll do the right things.

How does philosophy differ from religion?  RELIGION FOCUSES ON GOD, PHILOSOPHY FOCUSES ON LIFE AND KNOWLEDGE

The most important things to Confucius were peace and order. He felt that everyone had a proper role in society, and that if people were willing to accept their role and fulfill it, that peace and harmony would abound.

Why do you think peace and order are important for a society?  KEEPS SOCIETY RUNNING

What is your role in society?  MY ROLE IS TO BE A LEADER FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM TO GIVE THEM HOPE THAT THEY MAY FIND THEIR VOICE LIKE ME.

In order to help people accept their roles in society and establish order, Confucius laid out what he called ethics. These ethics outlined how individuals should treat one another. The most important of these ethics outlined the responsibilities of children to respect and listen to their parents and other elders. He also laid out ethics for how subjects should follow rulers, for how rulers should treat subjects, how husbands and wives should treat one another, and how friends should treat each other.

Give me one example of Confucius’ ethics.  LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS!

What ethical principles guide your life?  BE KIND TO OTHERS

During his own lifetime, Confucius’ teachings were not widely accepted. However, within a hundred years they were being used by the emperor to help him rule, and eventually became a widely followed religion. Confucianism would remain a powerful force in Chinese history.

Here are some quotes by Confucius:
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.  PEOPLE INSIST ON MAKING LIFE MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT NEEDS TO BE.  “You are right, but you are essentially saying the same thing as the quote.  Can you elaborate or tell me in your own words?”  WE KEEP WANTING MORE THAN WE NEED.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.  EXPERIENCE IS A TOUGH TEACHER.  IMITATING SMART PEOPLE IS ONE WAY TO LEARN, BUT REFLECTION IS HOW WE CREATE MEANING.
Creative Writing:  What would Confucius think is the greatest challenge facing humankind right now?  HUMANKIND IS SUFFERING FROM EXTREME SELFISHNESS.  MANY PEOPLE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH WHILE SOME PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE BASIC NECESSITIES.  CONFUCIUS WOULD NOT BE IMPRESSED WITH OUR WORLD TODAY.  HE WOULD TEACH US TO BE MORE CHARITABLE.
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