quote by Alan Dundes

Ancestor worship, or filial piety so characteristic of Asian cultures, for example, does not really resonate with Americans who favor children, not grandparents.

— Alan Dundes

Revolutionary Filial quotations

When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear.

When the body's intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.


I could express my feelings more easily if they could be put into the notes of music, but as the very best concert would not cover my affection for you, dear daddy, I must use the simple words of my heart, to lay before you my utmost gratitude and filial affection

There are three degrees of filial piety.

The highest is being a credit to our parents, the second is not disgracing them; the lowest is being able simply to support them.

A good man regards the root; he fixes the root, and ail else flows out of it. The root is filial piety; the fruit brotherly love.

Sometimes children do forget their filial responsibilities.


The parental, and filial affections seem to be as ardent, their sensibility and attachment, as active and faithful, as those observed to be in human nature.

If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty.

When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.

A lively and lasting sense of filial duty is more effectually impressed on the mind of a son or daughter by reading King Lear, than by all the dry volumes of ethics, and divinity that ever were written.

A dewdrop is a perfect integrity that has no filial memory of its parentage.

A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders.


If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty.

When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.

When family relations are no longer harmonious, we have filial children and devoted parents.

Filial Piety is the principle of Heaven, The righteousness of Earth, And the (proper) conduct of the people.

ORPHAN, n. A living person whom death has deprived of the power of filial ingratitude . . .

I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.


Land of my sires! what mortal hand Can e'er untie the filial band That knits me to thy rugged strand!

God has given you your child, that the sight of him, from time to time, might remind you of His goodness, and induce you to praise Him with filial reverence.

Prayer is not a vain attempt to change God's will;

it is a filial desire to learn God's will and to share it. Prayer is not a substitute for work: it is the secret spring and indispensable ally of all true work.

The paternal and filial duties discipline the heart, and prepare it for the love of all mankind. The intensity of private attachment encourages, not prevents, universal benevolence.

In your reaction to an imagined attack on your country or an insult to its government, you draw closer to the herd for protection, you conform in word and deed, and you insist vehemently that everybody else shall think, speak, and act together. And you fix your adoring gaze upon the State, with a truly filial look, as upon the Father of the flock.


The law of nature instructs most animals to cherish and educate their infant progeny. The law of reason inculcates to the human species the returns of filial piety.

Those who seek to become immortals must regard loyalty, filiality, peacefulness, obedience, benevolence and trustworthiness as fundamental.

Emotional damage is never easy to measure, but mothers who are alive but psychically absent impose filial burdens which knot their children's feelings in a way biologic orphans are spared.

There is such a thing as caste, even in the West;

but it is comparatively faint; it is conservatism here. It says, forsake not your calling, outrage no institution, use no violence, rend no bonds; the State is thy parent. Its virtue or manhood is wholly filial.

A youth, when at home, should be filial and, abroad, respectful to his elders.

He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.


... professing myself moreover convinced that the general's unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of each other, and adding strength to their attachment, I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.

My fatherhood made me understand my parents and to honor them more for the love they gave. My sonhood was revealed to me in its own perfection and I understood the reason the Chinese so value filiality, the responsibility of the son to honor the parents.

Worse, the deadly accuracy of filial faultfinding is facilitated by access, by trust, by willing disclosure, and so constitutes a double betrayal.

This insistence on "having his say upon the universe" is the profoundest motive of William James thinking as well as of his filial gratitude.

There is little mysticism without an element of transcendence, and conversely, there is no transcendence without a certain degree of egocentrism. It may be that the genesis of these experiences is to be sought in the unique situation of the very young child in relation to adults. The theory of the filial origin of the religious sense seems to us singularly convincing in this connection.


Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me, outcast as I was; and I, who from man could anticipate only mistrust, rejection, insult, clung to her with filial fondness. To-night at least, I would be her guest-as I was her child; my mother would lodge me without money and without price.

One who was born in the house of a warrior, regardless of his rank or class, first acquaints himself with a man of military feats and achievements in loyalty....Everyone knows that if a man doesn't hold filial piety toward his own parents he would also neglect his duties toward his lord. Such a neglect means a disloyalty toward humanity. Therefore such a man doesn't deserve to be called 'samurai'.

Very well, then, where do we arrive? Where do we arrive with our respect, our homage, our filial affection? At Adam! At Adam, every time. We can't build a monument to a germ, but we can build one to Adam, who is in the way to turn myth in in fifty years and be entirely forgotten in two hundred. We can build a monument and save his name to the world forever, and we'll do it!

…for no matter how lost and soiled and worn-out wandering sons may be, mothers can forgive and forget every thing as they fold them into their fostering arms. Happy the son whose faith in his mother remains unchanged, and who, through all his wanderings, has kept some filial token to repay her brave and tender love.