Determine the Proper Way for Expressing Human Feelings
This concept originated in The Book of Rites and Xunzi. Confucianism believes that human feelings need to be properly expressed. However, there are significant differences in the degree of human feelings. Rules should be established to govern the expression of human feelings based on a full understanding of their differences; and the rules for expressing people’s feelings should be developed on the basis of a moderate degree of these feelings.
Should we tolerate those who are under the influence of depravity? When a parent of theirs dies in the morning, they will forget it by the evening. Were we to follow them, we would be worse than the birds and beasts. How could such people live together with others and not cause disorder? Should we instead follow the example of those who are particular about observing rites? For them, the three-year mourning, actually to be completed in 25 months, passes as quickly as a four-horse team galloping past a crack in a wall. If mourning is conducted the way as they wish, it would go on forever. Therefore the former kings established a proper rite for mourning with a fixed mourning period. Once the mourning period is over, mourning may come to an end. (The Book of Rites)