Confucius and Family Relationshiops

To Confucius family relationships are more important than any other relationship a human being could have. The way someone treated a family member affected whether they would be viewed as truly human or not. To

Confucius it was all a matter of respecting your elders. His most important relationship is between the father and the eldest son. In his opinion “it is the hinge of civilization”. To Confucius the father must love and care for his son and is responsible for his welfare. On the other hand though the son must respect and obey his father and see to his welfare as well. If the father were to neglect his son or the son were to not respect his father they would not be considered truly human because they were not following their natural way or duty in life.

Along with the father son relationship Confucius had 4 more important relationships, which were also all based on respect towards your superior. Number two was the husband and wife relationship where the husband must treat his wife fairly and the wife must respect and obey her husband. Number 3 was the elder brother and younger brother relationship in which the elder brother must take care of his younger brother and in return the younger brother must give respect to his older brother. Confucius’s fourth relationship was that of the ruler and the subject. In this case the ruler had to watch out and care for his subjects while they had to respect, obey, and be loyal to the ruler. His last relationship was that of an elder and younger in general where a younger person must respect their elders and the elders must be kind to those younger than them. These five relationships are all written together in what is known as the doctrine of the Five Relationships. They all are based on good character and following what is expected of you. To Confucius if you deviate from what is expected of you, you are deemed to not have good character and not be truly human.

Confucius also believed that no matter how big the family or society that if everyone were to follow and obey their roles that everyone in that particular family and/or society would be harmonious. By a society being harmonious Confucius thought it would lead to people from other societies coming over to join a better society which would lead to a more populated society that would lead to more loyal subjects to the ruler eventually leading to a better army incase one was needed to defend against an invasion. But just as quickly as it could build up, I believe it could fall just as easily.

I personally do not think this could ever work in a family or society. I think that if this system depended on everyone to follow the way they are told to be and a few people decided not to, that it would crumble the whole system. By a few people who decide not to do what is expected of them could set off a chain reaction that could eventually lead its way all the up to the top or all the way down to the bottom depending on where it started. To me it seems like a domino affect, if one person decides to deviate from what is expected of them then it may cause one or two others to deviate which may each cause another one or two people to do the same. If this did happen it could bring down the entire society as a whole and allow it to be open for takeover by a neighboring state.