Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Five Great Relationships

Confucius believe that relationships are real but however they are not equal. The level of a relationship can be determined by personal facotrs, such as friendship or family connection, formal social factors such as age or socieconomic status. It is obvious to them that there is inequality between the different types of relationships so they list them according to a hierarchy. The first relationship is father-son, the father must be responsible for the education and moral formation of the son. The son must be respectful and obedient in return. The second relationship is that between an elder brother-younger brother, the elder brother is responsible for raising the younger siblings and the younger siblings must be compliant. The third relationship is husband-wife, each person is responsible for others care. The husband is the protector and the wife is the homemaker and mother. Sometimes the wives become more motherly to their husbands rather than romantic. The fourth relationship is elder-younger, the elder are responsible for the younger. The younger are in much need of care, support, and character formation so therefore the younger must always show respect to the elder and always be open to their advice. The fifth relationship is ruler-subject, the ruler must always act like a father and take care of those who are like his children. The five great relationships have also been known to be referred to as "rectifying names." These relationships signify that you must live up to your social status.

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