Leadership Lessons from Confucius: diamonds from the dross
Confucius said: “To peddle gossip is to throw virtue away.”
Remember when the internet was going to usher in a new age of enlightenment in which people would respectfully share information with each other to create a better tomorrow? What a pity that it has heralded a new dark age in which information has become so easy to manufacture and manipulate that it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is fake.
Naturally, this has created a huge opportunity for those who like to see themselves as guardians of the truth and claim they can protect the rest of us from the tide of misinformation and disinformation that is engulfing the world. It is of course only a coincidence that their idea of the truth magically conforms with their own political, social, and ethical views!
The best way to discern what is really happening amid this ongoing war for control of the narrative is to carefully check the source of the information you are being served up with. Once you understand the agenda of the author and the organization they work for, you can much more effectively evaluate the authenticity of their arguments. This is a time-consuming process, of course, but once you get into the habit you will find it a lot easier pick out the diamonds from the dross.
This article features a translation of Chapter 14 of Book 17 of the Analects of Confucius. You can read my full translation of Book 17 here.
I took this image in the Four Beasts Scenic Area in Taipei.