Confucius 2.0

I’m a big fan of ancient proverbs.

Sayings such as…

Plinyelder, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health, Wikimedia Commons.

Fortune favours the brave.
– Pliny the Elder

and…

Lao Tzu, courtesy of Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia Commons.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

– Lao Tzu

…I find truly inspirational.

Confucius 1.0

The master of ancient proverbs, however, must be Confucius.

Some of my favourites of his are…

ConfuciusBetter a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

If only we heeded these 2,500-year-old words of wisdom!

Confucius 2.0

This got me thinking, if Confucius were alive today, what new proverbs might he conceive for the digital age?

Shanghai, courtesy of bhavitnaik, stock.xchng.

Of course we’ll never know, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun thinking up our own. How about these…

The lushest gardens have the highest walls.

The lurker’s voice is never heard.

The one who throws rocks, but offers no alternatives, is a douche.

Do not feed the trolls.

Banning social media is a double-edged sword.

Everyone wants to be collaborative,
until they are expected to contribute.

Social media is like driving; everyone thinks they do it well.

When it’s not social, it’s just media.

If millions of people are doing it, it can’t be that hard.

If a man punches you in the face, you may sue him in court;
but you will still have a broken nose.

If I can sing along while you wear the earphones, it’s too loud.

Beware the ones who say they love your blog;
they desire to sell you something.

Spammers are like the hunters of Patagonian Toothfish;
they cast their nets very wide, yet catch very little.

If a man offers to sell you the secrets of online trading,
ask yourself why he isn’t sunbathing in the Caribbean.

Chinese Character Joy Icon, courtesy of Icons Etc.This list is a stub

Now it’s your turn. How creative are you?

Can you think of any modern-day proverbs to add
to the list?

Explore posts in the same categories: proverbs

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12 Comments on “Confucius 2.0”

  1. Kerrie Says:

    I love this post!
    How about…

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every expierence in which you really stop to look a new technological fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself. “I lived through this… I can take the next thing that comes along.”

  2. ryan2point0 Says:

    Love it! The truth is, if millions of other people around the world are using some new technology, it can’t be that difficult. A little bit of self confidence goes a long way.

  3. Ben Says:

    “If you are going to knock down my sand castle, you had better have built a better one next to it first!”

    This is in relation to any professional group when a leadership team or management group is trying to make improvements and all that happens is people complain about how it is working without any offer to improve it. This is now my favourite saying as the “stone throwers” go quiet very quickly.

  4. ryan2point0 Says:

    The sand castle analogy is really powerful because it represents the stone thrower’s worst nightmare: accountability. Cheers Ben :o)

  5. Patricia Says:

    As I love quotes myself I really appreciate your analogy.Thanks for sharing

  6. Richard He Says:

    Interesting post, Ryan!

    But if you were supposed to analyse the complex grammatical structure or the mordern implications of the ancient Chinese version of the proverbs and do MCQs, short answer, etc. to get a good mark to stand out of the crowd so that you are able to get into top colleges/universities, that would not be something for fun anymore. :-D

    My favourite one is: “if there are three people walking together, one of them should be my teacher”. The modern one should be:” if there are three people online, one of them should be my teacher – the other one would be a spammer.” Haha…

  7. Richard He Says:

    BTW, the Chinese character at the end of your post is “joy” which is a combination of two mouths (representing two people), earth and plant. But some others say it consists of two moths and two drums, representing the scene of celebration.

    This is the way my partner teaches her Chinese as a second language classes for people who are going to China to do business and/or live. But it is not the way we learned Chinese when we were young.

  8. Ryan Tracey Says:

    I’m glad that’s what it means! (I had visions of this: http://is.gd/bQtqg ) Thanks for the info :o)

  9. Ryan Tracey Says:

    I thought of another one: “The louder a man speaks into his phone, the more important he thinks he is.”


  10. or “The louder man speaks into phone, the older the receiver of message.” I get what you were trying to start…responses in “CONFUCIOUS speak”, for lack of a better term. – Only 2 years after original post.


  11. One more: “Beware of man with unknown secret to problem at 3 a.m. for money. If secret so great, he make millions during day.”

  12. Ryan Tracey Says:

    I like it!


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