The famous Confucius, founder of the Five Relationships theory, was a Chinese philosopher, a political analyst, a teacher and the father of the founder what can be called a religion or philosophy known as Confucianism. He lived in China about 500 years BC, and has since influenced the way of thought in Asian society. As with many geniuses of all trade, Confucius’s work, beliefs, and teachings were not recognized at all during his lifetime. It was many years after he died that people actually recognized him for his concepts and vision.
Confucius believed that there were five basic relationships that existed in society and intermingled with each other. The five human relationships that he recognized were Ruler to the Ruled, Father to Son, Husband to Wife, Older Brother to Younger Brother, and Friend to Friend.
Ruler To Subject
According to Confucius, the ruler of a society is supposed to set a moral example for his people and lead with a father-like presence. So, it is also true that he must rule as though he is the father of a very big family. If he doesn’t rule by example, and, instead, rules by power, then, according to Confucius, he is not a very good leader. This lead the Chinese to believe that a bad leader was not supported by Heaven, so if any bad luck or fighting befelled a leader, it was because he was not worthy.
Father To Son (in modern times, parent to child)
Confucius considered this to be the most important of the Five Relationships, because a parent-like role is important in many situations. Confucianism, based on love and compassion, has a lot to say about the parent to child relationship and how mutual respect and admiration are required.
Husband To Wife
Again, the ideas of love, compassion, and respect are involved here.
Older Brother To Younger Brother
Here again there is an aspect of teaching between right and wrong.
Friend To Friend
This is more of a uniform relationship, although it could vary if the friends differ greatly in age.
Confucius taught that a society where individuals put morals and virtue above everything else cannot help but prosper. So he really emphasized the importance of rituals and standard of conduct. He also focused on the fact that everyone always has the opportunity to make the right choices, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in.
He stressed that if every single person in a society performs his part the right way by making the right and just choices, the society will be in harmony. Confucius viewed society as a giant wheel with the the king as the axis that everything spins around. So he did believe in the hierarchial structure of society and that a society which was based on virtue, the goodness of individuals, and the Five Relationships among them, wouldn’t need punishment.