Proactive Versus Prudent
Proactive and prudent were used by Confucius to refer to two opposing attitudes and styles of behavior. Proactive persons tend to be radical and won’t make any compromise in upholding moral principles and justice. Prudent persons, on the other hand, tend to be cautious and ready to make compromise but without sacrificing moral integrity. Confucius believed that the ideal conduct in life is keeping to the mean, neither going too far nor falling short. While proactive and prudent may be extreme to some extent, both have their own advantages as both adhere to moral principles and justice.
Confucius said, “If finding no one observing the Golden Mean to get along with, one may make friends with those who are either proactive in action or those who are prudent in action. The former are ardent in getting things done, and the latter keep themselves from doing anything immoral or unjust.” (The Analects)