Following is what we call confucius in China.
至聖先師,Zhìshèngxiānshī, lit. “The Most Sage Venerated Late Teacher”
至聖, Zhìshèng, “the Greatest Sage
先師, Xiānshī, literally meaning “first teacher”.
萬世師表，Wànshìshībiǎo, “Role Model for Teachers through the Ages”
One of the deepest teachings of Confucius may have been the superiority of personal exemplification over explicit rules of behavior. His moral teachings emphasized self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules, Confucius’s ethics may be considered a type of virtue ethics. His teachings rarely rely on reasoned argument, and ethical ideals and methods are conveyed more indirectly, through allusions, innuendo, and even tautology. This is why his teachings need to be examined and put into proper context in order to be understood. A good example is found in this famous anecdote:
This quote is my favourite and i believe it’s the right answer to “is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?”
- Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: “Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?”
The Master replied: “How about ‘shu’ [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?”
“reciprocity” is the principal that everyone should cultivate in mind. A person who only concerns about himself would never have a positive impact on others, therefore no influcence has been created and everything about him is gone as he passes away. But why there are always some exceptional people who can build long-lasting influence over decades or even a century. It’s because they devoted themselves for public interests and of couse they have “reciprocity” in their mind or even other interests came first than their owns.
You cann’t name a counterexample of above principal not being applied. It’s always true. Therefore since today if you want to build an influcence, please consider other’s benefits and interests. What you don’t wish for yourself, don’t do to others.