To let a sudden fit of anger make you forget the dangers you risk for yourself and for those who are nearest and dearest to you — is this not clouded judgment?

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 12.21 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse; Annping Chin (1983)]

Alt. trans.:
  • "For a morning's anger to disregard one's own life, and involve that of his parents; -- is not this a case of delusion?" [tr. Legge (1861)]
  • "If a man allows himself to lose his temper and forget himself of a morning, in such a way as to become careless for the safety of is own person and for the safety of his parents and friends: -- is that not a case of a great delusion in life?" [tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]
  • "For a morning's anger to forget his own safety and involve that of his relatives, is not this irrational?" [tr. Soothill (1910)]
  • "To endanger oneself and one's kin in a sudden fit of anger: is this not an instance of incoherence?" [tr. Leys (1997)]
  • "Because of one morning's anger, to forget your own safety and even endanger those close to you -- this is faulty thinking, isn't it?" [tr. Watson (2007)]
  • "And as to illusions, is not one morning's fit of anger, causing a man to forget himself, and even involving the consequences those who are near and dear to him -- is not that an illusion?" [tr. Jennings]
A common paraphrase of this is "When anger rises, think of the consequences." This is attributed to Confucius in Kang-Hi (K'ang-hsi, Kangxi) The Sacred Edict, Maxim #16 (1670, 1724) [tr. Milne (1817)]. An alternate translation is "In anger, think of the trouble" [tr. Baller (1892), ch. 16, sec. 15]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
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