Grateful Words: Ren
From time to time, we are reminded, quite serendipitously, that there are so many words throughout this wonderful world that express sentiments of gratitude. Here’s one now…
Ren (Chinese: 仁) is the Confucian virtue denoting the good feeling a virtuous human experiences when being altruistic. Ren is exemplified by a normal adult’s protective feelings for children. It is considered the outward expression of Confucian ideals.
Yan Hui, one of the Four Sages, once asked his master to describe the rules of ren. Confucius replied, “One should see nothing improper, hear nothing improper, say nothing improper, do nothing improper.” Confucius also defined ren in the following way: “wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.” Confucius also said, “Ren is not far off; he who seeks it has already found it.” Ren is close to man and never leaves him.