There were four things Confucius kept away from: speculation, demanding absolute certainty, stubbornness, and selfishness.
Weisheng Mu asked Confucius, “Why do you run around from place to place? Are you trying to be a smooth talker?”
Confucius replied, “I wouldn’t dare try that, it’s just that I hate stubbornness.”
Confucius was playing the stone chimes in Wei.
A man carrying a basket walked by and commented, “He puts his heart into his playing.”
Then, after a while, he added, “So much urgency in that stubborn clanging! If no one appreciates him, that’s that!
“‘When it’s deep—wade through, clothes and all.
When it’s shallow—lift the hem of your robes and step across.’”
In response, Confucius said, “Of course! So decisive, and so easy, too!”