Ji Kangzi was troubled by the thieves in his state. He asked Confucius what he should do about it.

Confucius replied, “If you weren’t so greedy, your people wouldn’t steal, even if you offered them a reward for doing it.”


Confucius said, “Prince Jing of Wei was sensible about household management. When he first began accumulating wealth, he said, ‘That’s about right.’ When he got a little more, he said, ‘This will do.’ When he became wealthy, he said, ‘This opulent enough.’”


Confucius said, “A noble person guards against three things. When young, and the blood is up, guard against lust. When mature, and energy is in full force, guard against rage. When old, and on the decline, guard against acquisitiveness.”


Confucius said, “Is it really possible to work side-by-side with a vulgar person in serving a ruler? Before he gets what he wants, all he cares about is getting it. Once he gets it, all he worries about is losing it. Once he starts worrying about losing it, there’s nothing he won’t do.”