Throughout the book A Basic Confucius, compiled by Kuijie Zhou, there are numerous quotes that reflect Confucius’s wisdom, advice, and teachings. His wisdom has acted as one of the founding pillars of Chinese society for thousands of years. A Basic Confucius offers a guide to “individual cultivation and philosophical contemplation” for those who are new to ancient Chinese philosophy. Confucius is one of the most popular and most studied philosophers of all time. Confucian thought has affected every aspect of Chinese life. His teachings for behavior, honesty, morality, and filial piety are some of the most respected teachings in history. His words are as valid today as they were two thousand years ago. However, during his lifetime, his ideas were not widely known. Confucianism was not thought of as a “true philosophy” yet. Over the course of time, his thoughts and teachings were recorded and put together by generations of disciples, which are now known as The Four Books. Confucianism is a system of thoughts and social rites. Confucius lived during a time of great political and social uncertainty. In the midst of this uncertainty, Confucian thought advocated five constant virtues: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness. By reading this book, it is easy to recognize quotes that signify the importance of the “five constant virtues” and how they impacted Chinese culture. It also allows western society to easily understand Chinese culture. Benevolence is the first and most important virtue among the Five Constant Virtues. In A Basic Confucius, a quote that represents this virtue is “Do not impose on others what you yourself dislike” (4). This is known as the “Golden Mean” of Confucian thought. By showing love and compassion for others and avoiding harm towards anyone, as you would want done to yourself, the virtue of benevolence is exemplified. Benevolence demands that one be kind and to not commit any evil deeds. For example, a benevolent person help others effortlessly with no thought of being repaid. Being a benevolent person also means not being able to endure (seeing others suffer), loving others, and aiding all living things. The next virtue is Righteousness. In contrast to benevolence, this involves thinking and acting from one’s own conscience. It demands rational action, resistance to temptation, and the responsibility to do one’s duty. Righteousness is all about preserving one’s integrity and doing what is proper. A quote from the book that represents this virtue is “Speak with trustworthiness and act with honesty and conscience” (52-53). In order to be righteous, one must do what ought to be done, which basically means to do what is right. By speaking and acting with honesty through one’s conscience, acts of righteousness will surely ensue. By doing so, Confucius says that one can achieve anything they want, anywhere they want. The third constant virtue is Propriety. The aspects that make up propriety include loyalty, filial piety, respect, etc. Propriety, in a general sense, signifies the behaviors and relationships that form and maintain hierarchy. In Chinese culture, the main relationships are as follows: monarch and subjects, father and sons, husband and wife, elder and the young, and teacher and students. These are all different types of relationships but they all require respect and deference to others. Yet, equality still is an essential prerequisite of propriety, especially in unfamiliar relationships. Propriety means to enact in recognizing and understanding the order and then to perfect the refined. The virtues of benevolence and righteousness are acted out through the human relationships practiced from the virtue of propriety. Essentially, benevolence and righteousness coexist within propriety. The next virtue is Wisdom. Wisdom means knowledge. This knowledge allows someone to judge right and wrong, good and evil. This is necessary in the practice of morals, ethics, and behavior because without it, one cannot become a virtuous person. In A Basic Confucius, there is a whole chapter about seeking knowledge. In it, there is a quote that says “If one doesn’t study when he is young, he will be of no use when he grows up” (34-35). In a way, this virtue precedes the others because without wisdom, one will have no sense of ethics, social skills, or even the plain common sense that is necessary in practicing the other virtues; essentially, like the quote says, without wisdom one will be without virtues and useless. The last of the constant virtues is Trustworthiness, which is honesty. This means that whatever someone says matches with their actions. Internally and externally, one’s words, mind, and actions are all in unison. A quote from the book that represents this virtue is “Always stand by one’s word, and persist in one’s undertaking till the end” (50). Trustworthiness is the key to the perfection of human nature. Like the previous virtues, without trustworthiness, all of the other virtues lose their authenticity, which is why they are all inseparable. As a child, trustworthiness is inherent. But as the child grows older, this virtue might be lost due to external influences. In order to maintain trustworthiness, one cannot be deterred from his purpose.