Confucius, the Great Chinese Thinker-Ending
Confucius could do nothing but return to Lu. When he was 50, he was forced to go into exile again by people who disapproved of his thinking. However, he was still anxious to obtain an opportunity to realize his political aspirations. He and his companions traveled to Wei, Cao, Song, Zheng, Chen, Cai and Chu states. Despite all the hardships on the journey and all kinds of rebuffs, he continued to promote his theories tenaciously.
Confucius was a great educator who occupies a significant position in the history of education in China. In slave society, only children from privileged families had access to education. Regarding this system as unfair, Confucius claimed that everybody should have the right to receive a decent education. In the private school that he founded, Confucius admitted privileged and common children alike.
It was said that Confucius had 3,000 disciples, of whom 72 stood out for their excellence. He gave lectures wherever possible - in lecture halls, in his courtyard, in his bedchamber, in the outskirts, or in horse driven carts on journeys. A devoted teacher, he lived and worked with his students, winning deep respect from them. Confucius put forward the idea of "teaching students in accordance with their aptitude," meaning a teacher should adopt different methods to teach students with different personalities and academic levels.
In his later years, Confucius edited several important ancient Chinese classics including The Book of Songs, Collection of Ancient Texts and The Spring and Autumn Annals. After he died, his disciples compiled a 20-chapter book titled The Analects, based on his daily teachings and dialogues with disciples. At the same time, they spread his doctrines to an ever-wider audience, giving rise to the school of Confucianism. The main points of the Confucian philosophy may be summed up as follows:
First, Confucius set great store by the concept of "benevolence;" that is to say, rulers are expected to demonstrate concern for their subjects and refrain from overexploiting them so as to reconcile conflicts between different classes of the society. Second, he called for virtuous government and was categorically opposed to tyranny and torture. Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty designated Confucianism as the official ideology. For the next over 2,000 years, it served as the orthodox thinking of feudal China. The Chinese often refer to Confucius as "The Sage" to show their respect.