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The Great Learning:
Never has there been a man, who, not having reference to his own character and wishes in dealing with others, was able effectually to instruct them.
Never has there been a person who has not stored up within himself the disposition to treat others with reciprocity, but who is able to persuade others to follow him.
I can’t tell you who precisely said this originally, although you might learn something about the origins of this fine book from Eno’s introduction (which I mean to print and read myself later).
I also cannot tell you why “French Laundry” is the name of a restaurant.
What I can tell you is that 大學 / The Great Learning is one of the classics of ancient Confucianism and that this line is well-grounded in the teachings of Confucius himself, as one can find by studying the Analects. And, of course, I can tell you that this is some very, very good advice for certain government people who are telling Americans what to do with their lives while they go out and do very, very differently.
(I can also tell you that “大學” can also be translated as “university,” which is kind of cool. Thus, I believe, “香港浸會大學,” or “Hong Kong Baptist University,” in its etymology means something like “fragrant harbor immersion meeting great learning.” Now you know.)Published in