Most people have heard of Confucius, even though they wouldn’t have much of an idea about who he was or what he stood for. It is a measure of the influence of the man who lived almost two thousand five hundred years ago in China that his name instantly rings a bell anywhere in the world today. Confucius was a teacher, philosopher, and politician nonpareil whose contribution to the Chinese way of life and by extension to the world at large is immense.
He either wrote or edited many of the seminal classical Chinese texts that defined Chinese culture down the millennia. Anyone seriously interested in understanding the genesis of Chinese culture would do well to hire the services of a Chinese document translation services company and get these texts translated from Chinese into English. What is truly remarkable about Confucius the man is the fact that even though he lived in the era of antiquity, he had a very clear view about the importance of personal character.
As a matter of fact, personal integrity was the very pillar upon which he based an individual’s existence. For him, a virtuous character was everything and an individual would do well to develop that to find his due place in society and in the eyes of God, and indeed his own eyes. If you were to get in touch with a Chinese translation company and ask them to translate some of the better-known texts by Confucius, you would find a wealth of information about the way that the great man thought.
Confucius, for example, was a great believer in a hierarchy and an individual’s place in it. The reason that he stressed a strong moral character was the fact that we are a part of society and it behooves us to exist usefully within a network of a personal, societal, and spiritual network. We all should use our own clout and power to do good and fight against injustice, even while being grateful to those higher up in the hierarchy who have been good to us.
This sure is different from the Western thought where individualism and equality, as well as a secular attitude toward matters of faith are the dominant traits. You may agree or disagrees with Confucianist tenets, but the fact is is that Confucianism is a viable philosophy of life and forms the bedrock of East Asian cultures today. One really can consider hiring a translation agency full time to read more of Confucius and get to understand the cultures of nations like China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and so on.
In case one thought that Confucius was like some feudal lord obsessed with hierarchy, it is pertinent to mention that he was also an advocate of scholarly studies and meritocracy, but only if it added value to one’s moral character. To that extent, his was a higher philosophy than the mindless pursuit of materialism fuelled by one’s educational qualifications and technical expertise in the West.
This is not something that requires simultaneous interpreting and simultaneous translation from some old and esoteric Chinese Confucian texts, but something that you can notice in the worldview of the current day East Asian people. They may have acquired the outward trappings of Western culture, but inside they retain some of their traditional reticence.
As you could probably perceive, there really are two aspects to Confucianism-focus on moral rectitude and deference to authority. While the common Chinese would probably draw inspiration from the former, the imperial monarchs of the past and the current ruling disposition in China find the latter part of his teachings useful.
To understand how the Chinese instinctively react to situations rather than rely on Chinese translators and Chinese interpreters, it might make sense to read up about Confucius and Confucianism yourself. Considering that China is the number two economic power in the world and may someday in the future become the number one, it makes sense for people around the world to learn the Chinese way of doing things from the old master.
China is seeking to be not just the leading global economic power, but a military and soft power as well. To be a soft power, it has to promote a homegrown philosophy that can match the best of what the west has to offer. In this regard, the millennia-old philosophy of their very own Confucius shows a template of living life, which is uniquely Chinese and doesn’t need to conform to the western notions of propriety and ethical behaviour.
Confucius indeed was a man like no other and to say that he was ahead of his times is as huge an understatement as you would possibly come across. In an era where China is on the ascendant and increasingly confident of its place in the world, Confucianism or at least the parts that suit the modern Chinese state will see its influence increase dramatically and manifold.
Partly it is a much-required correction to the existing skew in favour of Western philosophical thought towards an older and an equally evocative belief system. However, there is also the element of the fact that power that is a rising one seeks to leave its imprint upon the world in all manner of ways including philosophical. This is something we have seen from the days of Alexander the Great who had 70 cities in different countries named after him. So we will likely hear a lot more about Confucius in the years ahead.
But the man deserves to be known and studied in the West in his own right. The universities in the West should really include more courses on Confucius and other great Chinese philosophers of the world in addition to their own stalwarts. It is time they tied up with certified translation agencies and got the important texts translated into English. This would prepare many more young people in the West to learn more about a way of life that is ancient, yet so contemporary in many ways. In the century that is likely to belong to the Chinese, that is the least that they can do.