The man who lost his heart

Charity is in the heart of man, and righteousness is the path for men. Pity the man who has lost his path and does not follow it, and who has lost his heart and does not know how to recover it. When people’s dogs and chicken are lost, they go out and look for them. Yet the people who have lost their hearts (or original nature) do not go out and look for them.

The principle of self-cultivation consists in nothing but trying to look for the lost heart.

Suppose there is a man who has a crooked ring finger which cannot stretch out straight. It isn’t painful and it doesn't cause him any inconvenience. And yet, if there was someone who could straighten out the finger for him, he would not mind going as far as Chin or Chu state because he is ashamed that his finger is not like that of other men.

Now, a man is wise enough to be ashamed of a finger that is not normal, and yet he is not wise enough to be ashamed of his heart, when his heart is not normal. We say such a man has no sense of the relative importance of things.

– Mencius

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