1.2

Youzi said, “A young person who is filial and respectful of his parents and elders rarely becomes the kind of person who enjoys defying their superiors. And a person who does not enjoy defying their superiors does not create chaos.

“A noble person tends to the roots first. With the roots taken care of, the Way naturally grows. Isn’t filiality and respect for parents and elders the root of humaneness?”

1.12

Youzi said, “When it comes to ritual, harmony is key. This is what made the Way of the great kings of old so elegant, and it applies in all matters—great and small. But if you just try to achieve harmony for its own sake without following ritual, it won’t work.”

1.13

Youzi said, “Trustworthiness comes close to righteousness because other people can count on your words. Showing respect is close to ritual correctness because it banishes shame and disgrace. If you can stick to these principles and not lose your family’s affection, you will be revered.”

12.9

Duke Ai asked Youzi, “We’ve had a famine this year and there aren’t enough revenues to run the state. What should I do?”

Youzi replied, “How about a 10% tax, as the Zhou used to levy?”

Duke Ai replied, “I can’t even get by on a 20% tax! How could I manage on 10%?”

Youzi said, “If the people have enough, you’ll have enough. But if the people don’t have enough, how can you expect to have enough?”