When Heaven is about to confer a great office on a man, it first exercises his mind with suffering, and his sinews and bones with toil ; it exposes his body to hunger, and subjects him to extreme poverty ; it confounds his undertakings. By all these methods it stimulates his mind, hardens his nature, and supplies his incompetencies.

— Mencius

The most professional Mencius quotes to discover and learn by heart

The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart.


Friendship is one mind in two bodies.


Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence


To act without clear understanding, to form habits without investigation, to follow a path all one's life without knowing where it really leads; such is the behavior of the multitude.


There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.


The best things in life come in threes, like friends, dreams, and memories.


Sincerity is the way to heaven.


He who loves others is constantly loved by them.

He who respects others is constantly respected by them.


Never has a man who has bent himself been able to make others straight.


If the King loves music, it is well with the land.


The feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.


If you love men and they are unfriendly, look into your love;

if you rule men and they are unruly, look into your wisdom; if you are courteous to them and they do not respond, look into your courtesy. If what you do is vain, always seek within.


About Mencius

Quotes 98 sayings
Nationality Chinese
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Evil exists to glorify the good. Evil is negative good. It is a relative term. Evil can be transmuted into good. What is evil to one at one time, becomes good at another time to somebody else.


Where it is permissible both to die and not to die, it is an abuse of valour to die.


I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death.

Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger.


Sincerity is the way to heaven; to think how to be sincere is the way of man.


When Heaven is about to confer a great office upon you, it first exercises your mind with suffering and your sinews and bones with toil.


The way of truth is like a great highway. It is not hard to find.


The great person never loses a childlike spirit.


A man must first despise himself, and then others will despise him.


He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.


A great man is one who has not lost the child's heart.


Treat your elders as elders, and extend it to the elders of others;

treat your young ones as young ones, and extend it to the young ones of others; then you can turn the whole world in the palm of your hand


Friends are the siblings God never gave us.


In abundance prepare for scarcity.


It is not difficult to govern. All one has to do is not to offend the noble families.


A real man is he whose goodness is a part of himself.


Kindly words do not enter so deeply into men as a reputation for kindness.


Benevolence is one of the distinguishing characters of man.


All things are already complete in us.

There is no greater delight than to be conscious of right within us. If one strives to treat others as he would be treated by them, he shall not fail to come near the perfect life.


Truth uttered before its time is always dangerous.


Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.


A small country cannot contend with a great;

the few cannot contend with the many; the weak cannot contend with the strong


The Way lies at hand yet it is sought afar off;

the thing lies in the easy yet it is sought in the difficult.


The foundation of the world lies in the nation.

The foundation of the nation lies in the family. The foundation of the family lies in the individual.


The man of true greatness never loses his child's heart.


Let not a man do what his sense of right bids him not to do, nor desire what it forbids him to desire. This is sufficient. The skillful artist will not alter his measures for the sake of a stupid workman.


The way is near, but men seek it afar.

It is in easy things, but men seek for it in difficult things.


Mankind fears an evil man but heaven does not.


The ways are two: love and want of love. That is all.


Every duty is a charge, but the charge of oneself is the root of all others.


The path of duty lies in what is near, and men seek for it in what is remote;

the work of duty lies in what is easy, and men seek for it in what is difficult.


The tendency of mans nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downward.


If the prince of a State love benevolence, he will have no opponent in all the empire.


He who outrages benevolence is called a ruffian: he who outrages righteousness is called a villain. I have heard of the cutting off of the villain Chow, but I have not heard of the putting of a ruler to death.


Incessant falls teach men to reform, and distress rouses their strength.

Life springs from calamity, and death from ease.


To feed men and not to love them is to treat them as if they were barnyard cattle. To love them and not respect them is to treat them as if they were household pets.


The way is One and only One. The way is close at hand, but men seek it afar.


The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute- he simply speaks and does what is right.