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Yang-Yang Dispatch

What would you do if YOU were Confucius?! July 26, 2000

Yesterday, I visited a place in China where a famous philosopher was born. A long, long time ago, in the year 551 B.C., a special man named Confucius was born. In the Chinese language, Confucius was called Kung Fu Zi. He was a wise man who spent much of his life wandering around China. He tried to improve the society he lived in by teaching others to have good manners, to treat people with kindness, and to study, to learn, and to reflect throughout their entire lives.

Confucius saw lots of problems in his society. He tried to get a job with the government so that he could help Chinese rulers reorganize and run their states well. People liked Confucius but his teachings did not become popular until after he died. Even though he did not become famous until after his death, Confucius continued to study and teach throughout his entire life.

Map
I bet you know more about how Confucius lived than you think you do! Let's take the fun survey below and find out. Pretend that you are Confucius and choose the answer that he would have chosen. Good luck! (You'll find the correct answers listed at the bottom.)

Question #1

Imagine that your grandmother has just given you a present. What do you do?

a) Rip the present open, start jumping up and down, and then run to your friend's house to show them the new toy.

b) Open the present and thank your grandmother for such a nice gift. Then you run to your friend's house to show them the new toy.

What is your choice? A, or B? What do you think Confucius would do? Remember that Confucius believed that people must always have good manners.

Question #2

Imagine that you are at school and it is lunch time. You are sitting with your brother and both of you are unpacking your lunch bags to see what is inside. You discover that you have three cookies in your bag and your brother has only one. What do you do?

a) You give one of your cookies to your brother so that both of you have two cookies.

b) You eat all three of your cookies and watch your brother cry because he has only one.

What is your choice? A, or B? What do you think Confucius would do? Remember that Confucius believed that people must kind to one another.

ANSWERS:

Question #1

Correct answer = (b) Confucius believed that people must always have good manners.

Question #2

Correct answer = (a) Confucius taught people that they must kind to one another and they must treat others the way that they would want to be treated.

There, you see? I bet you did know more about Confucius' teachings than you thought you did. I have learned a lot from his teachings and I hope to follow them as I grow up. I hope you will to!

Yang-Yang
Vocabulary

philosopher - a person who seeks wisdom
reflect - to think quietly and calmly

p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...yang-yangchen@bigfoot.com
 

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