Confucius said, “Very few go off-track if they show restraint.”
Confucius said, “The noble person who studies broadly in culture and restrains themselves through ritual won’t jump the track.”
Yan Hui asked Confucius about humaneness.
Confucius replied, “Restrain the self and return to ritual. That’s humaneness. If for a full day you can restrain yourself and return to ritual, everyone under Heaven will move toward humaneness. Humaneness comes from oneself. How could it come from others?”
Yan Hui asked, “Can I ask for specific steps?”
Confucius said, “If it’s not according to ritual, don’t look at it. If it’s not according to ritual, don’t listen to it. If it’s not according to ritual, don’t say it. If it’s not according to ritual, don’t do it.”
Yan Hui said, “Even though I’m not that clever, I’ll apply myself to this.”
Sima Niu asked Confucius about humaneness.
Confucius replied, “The humane person is reluctant to speak.
Sima Niu replied, “That’s all humaneness is? Reluctance to speak?”
Confucius replied, “Carrying it out is so difficult, how can you not be reluctant to speak about it?”