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PERMEATING AND AROMATIC INCENSE

Translated into Chinese by Faju and Fali (Years unknown, Jin Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

The influence of unsavory people are like the presence of an odor: gradually, you go astray by being accustomed to their unwholesomeness. Unknowingly, you also become unsavory.

The influence of eminent people are like the presence of aromatic incense: gradually, your wisdom progresses by being accustomed to their wholesomeness. Gradually, you also become fragrant and fresh.

── from Dharmapada


IRISES AND ORCHIDS

by Confucius (553 BCE - 479 BCE, Spring and Autumn Period)

To be in the the company of virtuous people is like being in a room full of irises and orchids; eventually we grow unaware of their fragrances, because we have become a part of them.

To be in the company of wicked people is like being in a salted fish shop; eventually we grow unaware of their stench, because we have become a part of them.

── from Kongzi Jiayu (Sayings of the Confucian Family)