有容乃大 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yǒuróng-nǎidà 有容乃大

A Broad Mind Achieves Greatness.

有度量,才能有大成就。“有容”即容量大,能包容;“大”指气魄、事业伟大。“有容”是一种道德修养,更是一种生存智慧。它是在承认并尊重个体及社会差异基础上调处自我与他人关系、寻求社会和谐的一种道德自觉,但又不是故意纵容或作无原则的妥协。“有容乃大”提醒人们立身行事尤其是为官理政,要心胸开阔,善于听取各种意见,宽和对待不同事物,就像大海接纳无数江河细流一样,这样才能养成伟大的品格,成就伟大的事业。其义与“厚德载物”相通。

A broad mind achieves greatness. Yourong (有容) means that one has the capacity to accommodate others. Da (大) refers to great courage and an important cause. Yourong is a moral standard, and more importantly, contains wisdom for survival. It is a conscious act of morality in pursuit of social harmony by managing and regulating relations between oneself and others on the basis of recognizing and respecting individual and social differences, without resorting to deliberate self-abnegation or making unprincipled compromise. The term teaches people how to conduct themselves, particularly officials in exercising their administrative powers. That is, they should have a broad mind, open to different views and different things, like the sea accepting numerous rivers flowing into it. This is the way to cultivate great character and important achievements. Its meaning is similar to the term houde-zaiwu (厚德载物 have ample virtue and carry all things).

引例 Citations:

◎必有忍,其乃有济。有容,德乃大。(《尚书·君陈》)

(必须有所忍耐,才能有所成就。有度量,才能建立大功德。)

Tolerance and patience lead people to success, and broadmindedness to merits and virtues. (The Book of History)

◎海纳百川,有容乃大;壁立千仞,无欲则刚。(林则徐对联)

(大海广阔接纳无数江河,人有度量才能[像大海那样]有大成就;千仞崖壁巍然屹立,人没有贪欲就能[像山崖那样]刚正凛然。)

The vast ocean accepts hundreds of rivers emptying into it; people with a broad mind can achieve greatness. Thousands of cliffs stand tall and lofty; people with no covetous desires stand firm and upright. (A couplet composed by Lin Zexu)

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