When Seeing a Person of High Caliber, Strive to Be His Equal.
This term means that when you see a person of high caliber, you should try to emulate and equal the person. Xian (贤) refers to a person of virtue and capability; qi (齐) means to emulate and reach the same level. This was what Confucius taught his students to do. The term has become a motto for cultivating one’s moral character and increasing one’s knowledge. The main point of this term is to encourage people to discover the strengths of others and take initiative to learn from those who are stronger than themselves in terms of moral qualities, knowledge, and skills so as to make constant progress. The term embodies the Chinese nation’s spirit for good, enterprise, and tenacious self-renewal.
Confucius said, “When you see a person of virtue and capability, you should think of emulating and equaling the person; when you see a person of low caliber, you should reflect on your own weak points.” (The Analects)
Men of virtue, who study extensively and reflect on themselves every day, become wise and intelligent and are free from making mistakes. (Xunzi)