The Eight Virtues Are the Foundation for Being a Person

Never do anything that goes against reason and conscience.

Young friends, do you know what the foundation for being a person is? It is comprised of the eight virtues: filiality, fraternal respect, loyalty, trustworthiness, propriety, righteousness, incorruptibility, and a sense of shame. Today, I will briefly explain these eight virtues. Listen well!

1.      Filiality: As a son or daughter, it is your duty to be filial and compliant to your parents. By being filial and compliant, you are repaying your parents’ kindness for raising you.

2.      Fraternal respect: As a younger sibling, you should be respectful to your elder siblings and to your elders, in order to repay their kindness.

3.      Loyalty: As a citizen, it’s your duty to loyally serve the country, n order to repay the country’s kindness.

4.      Trustworthiness: When you are with friends, you should be trustworthy and live up to your words. Your actions should be sincere and respectful, and you should not cause others to lose faith in you.

5.      Propriety: This refers to etiquette. You should treat people courteously. If you are discourteous, then you are no better than a savage. Young friends, you should greet your teachers, elders, and parents with proper respect.

6.      Righteousness: Be righteous in spirit and courageously do what should be done. When people are in difficulty, do your best to help them resolve their problems. Treat your friends with a sense of right and honor. Help them unconditionally, without ulterior motives.

7.      Incorruptibility: This refers to being pure and honest. No matter what they see, incorruptible people are never greedy or opportunistic. Rather, they are public-spirited and unselfish.

8.      A sense of shame: Never do anything that goes against reason and conscience. People who have no sense of shame are no better than beasts.

These eight virtues are the foundation of being a person. Don’t forget them. In the future, when you go out to work in society, “your words must be trustworthy, and your actions respectful.” Speak sincerely and don’t lie. Work with a reverent and diligent attitude. Don’t be negligent.

A talk given on October 12, 1983