Confucius quote: 射有似乎君子，失诸正鹄，反求诸其身
(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2022-11-18Print Print
Editor's Note: Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. His teachings and philosophy underpin East Asian culture and society, remaining influential across China and East Asia to this day. In this series, we share examples of his philosophical thoughts that have been quoted by officials and dignitaries from around the world.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.
This quote is from the 14th chapter of The Doctrine of the Mean, or Zhongyong, and is an integral part of Confucianism.
The saying is intended to remind people that when the going gets tough, don't give up. The toughness is a clue that one needs to adjust their approach.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia's Minister of Health, quoted the Confucius saying exactly in a recent exclusive contribution to China Daily.
Over the past 11 months, Sadikin has been presiding over the G20's health agenda, aiming to make the global health system more inclusive, equitable, and responsive to health emergencies.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been reminded time and time again of the Confucian saying: "When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals; adjust the action steps", to encourage all G20 members to put the differences aside and to engage actively in discussing new solutions for shared global health challenges that affect all citizens without prejudice.