Authors: Silvia Gramegna, Federico Alessandro Musso
Confucianism is an ancient Chinese philosophy, religion, and secular morality, it is a way of life that follows Confucius’s teachings dating back to the V century BCE. Given the humanistic focus of Confucianism, emphasis is put on the role of the family and social harmony. To some extent, it is comparable to the stoic school. As a way of approaching life, Confucianism describes how humankind can understand its boundaries and exceed them through the use of virtue and morale.
Historically, it has had a tremendous influence on the world and its teachings are fundamental to everyday life as they help individuals to have better relationships and consequently a happier life.
The entire development of the individual through Confucianism is an attempt to narrow the gap between ideal and reality. In fact, everyone’s life is characterised by a continuous and burning desire for a better life which cannot be reached with futile desires. Instead, what makes individuals feel real fulfilment are the experiences and the bonds created within society and, therefore, with nature (meaning the absolute).
Individuals give a contribution to society and those who succeed in working on their ethics and moral values will not only have a positive impact on society but also on themselves.
Moreover, individuals need to be humble, accept the role they must play in society, comply with it at their best, and fight their instincts not to.
In conclusion, those who want to live a happier life need to be grateful for what they have. Every day needs to be seen as a gift not to be wasted. In order to do so, they have to approach others with a positive attitude: altruism and virtue should be the pillars of human behaviour.
Finding a place within society can be a frustrating process, however, by constantly fighting materialistic needs and focusing on the existence, it is possible to get closer to encountering it. As Confucius said: “ We have two lives, and the second one starts when we realise we only have one”, live with joy and make it count.