Filial piety is obedience to, and respect and love for your parents. To observe this, you must do the following. First, attentively keep your body, born by parents, safe from injury and illness so as to relieve them of their worries. Second, do not go against your parents’ teachings, guidance and requests; obey them even if you do not agree with them. Third, gain fame and become accomplished through moral integrity, so as to highlight their teachings and guidance. Filial piety is rooted in children’s love and respect for their parents. Confucians believe that filial piety is the foundation of a person’s moral integrity and the basis for maintaining and strengthening the parent-child relationship, and even the sovereign-subject relationship.
Ziyou asked Confucius about filial piety and Confucius replied, “Filial piety nowadays means taking care of your parents. But even dogs and horses can be taken care of; without respect, what is the difference between taking care of your parents and taking care of dogs and horses?” (The Analects)
Filial piety starts with serving parents; it proceeds to serving the sovereign; it is completed by working and behaving within the rules of conduct. (Classic of Filial Piety)