Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Confucius was born in the small feudal state of Lu (noted for its preservation of the traditions of ritual and music of the Chou civilization).
1- Confucius' ancestors were probably members of the aristocracy who had become poor by the time of his birth. His father died when Confucius was only three years old. He was then instructed by his mother and distinguished himself as a great learner in his teens.
2- Confucius had served in minor government posts before he married a woman of similar background when he was 19. He mastered the six arts-ritual, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and arithmetic- and his familiarity with the classical traditions, notably poetry and history, enabled him to start a brilliant teaching career in his 30s.
3- Confucius is the first teacher in China who wanted to make education available to all men and who was instrumental in establishing the art of teaching as a way of life (before Confucius education was for the aristocracy). He believed that all human beings could benefit from self-cultivation and started a Humanities program for potential leaders. in Confucian, learning builds character.
4- For Confucius the primary function of education was to provide the proper way of training the chün-tzu, a process that involved constant self-improvement and continuous social interaction.
In his late 40s and early 50s Confucius served as a magistrate and as an assistant minister of public works, and eventually as minister of justice in the state of Lu. His political career was, however, short-lived. At 56, when he realized that his superiors were uninterested in his policies, Confucius left the country in an attempt to find another feudal state to which he could render his service. He was accompanied by an expanding circle of students during this self-imposed exile of almost 12 years. His reputation as a man of vision and mission spread. At the age of 67 he returned home to teach and to preserve his cherished classical traditions by writing and editing. He died in 479 BC, at the age of 73.