积善成德 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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jīshàn-chénɡdé 积善成德

Moral Character Can Be Built by Accumulating Goodness.

积累善行以养成德性。“积善成德”是荀子所提出的一种德性养成方式。荀子认为,仅仅依循于人的本性,只能导致对外物无休止的争夺,并使群体陷入无秩序的混乱之中。而人的道德的确立有赖于后天的教化。人需要在言行表现上符合礼法的要求,并经过长期的积累,逐渐形成对道德、礼法的认同,确立起内在的道德意识。

Xunzi first proposed this idea as a way to cultivate rectitude. He believed that following human nature alone leads to endless contention over external objects, resulting in disruption and discord within communities. Ethics and morals are instilled in a person through nurture and education. By conforming to the demands of proper speech and conduct over a long period of time, a person gradually develops a sense of propriety and inner morality.

引例 Citation:

◎积土成山,风雨兴焉;积水成渊,蛟龙生焉;积善成德,而神明自得,圣心备焉。(《荀子·劝学》)

(土堆积起来形成山,风雨就从这里产生。水积聚起来形成深渊,蛟龙在这里生长。善行不断积累以养成德性,就自然获得智慧,圣人的心智就具备了。)

Heaped earth makes mountains where wind and rain are born; water pools into deep lakes where dragons dwell; many good deeds build moral character that creates discernment, and prepare for the heart and mind of a sage. (Xunzi)

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