Broad Love Extending to All
On the semantic level, fan’ai (泛爱), like the term bo’ai (博爱), means a broad love that extends to all. However, in the history of Chinese thought, it has been used with a different connotation: while bo’ai generally suggests “love of all human beings,” fan’ai infers “love of all humans as well as all things.” It means the same as what Mencius advocated that men of virtue should love others and treasure everything on earth, and what Zhang Zai proposed that all people are brothers and sisters, and all things are companions.
Confucius said, “At home treat parents with reverence, outside treat elders with respect, be circumspect and honest, love all people, and frequent those who are magnanimous and virtuous.” (The Analects)
Love all things and creatures, for they form an organic whole. (Zhuangzi)