However, he seemed to have not achieved that because of the corruption that governed the lives of the rulers at the time. He would travel for some years out of his home town of Lu in search of the perfect ‘gentleman’, his ideal man who embodies a cultivated moral character. He failed miserably in this aspect, because he could not find anybody who came close to the gentleman. In contrast, however, the ‘small man’, a man who is not morally cultivated and who is greedy and corrupt, he found everywhere, and inasmuch as this was disheartening to him, he continued in search of his ideal man, by way of education.
The moral values that Confucius espoused he was able to spread by educating young minds. He placed such a high premium on the value of education, and this is perhaps the most important contribution that Confucius made to our society, aside from showing them how society should be governed and is required for this to be achieved. He left a legacy of how to lead a moral life, and he showed, by example, how through hard work one can lead a morally cultivated life by following the steps that he prescribed in his book The Analects.
Book One opens with words from the Master himself, Confucius, saying something about cultivation of virtue and acquisition of knowledge, and how the pursuit of these would give a person satisfaction and fulfillment. Book One is not arranged in any coherent order, but rather is a compilation of words by Confucius and by his prominent disciples.
One of the most important things discussed here is the integration of filial love and how this translates into outer relationships. Confucius contends that if a gentleman has respect and love for his parents and brothers, it is difficult for him to defy his superiors and be involved in a rebellion. He refers to the Way as the guiding principle by which all men must live. There must be alignment between filial piety and brotherly obedience.
He further prescribes how a