The Student’s Obedience Guide, known as “Đệ Tử Quy” in Vietnamese, takes its essence from the passage “The student abides by filial piety, behaves cautiously, is trustworthy, refrains from indulging in pleasures, respects his relatives, acts with remaining strength, and studies diligently” from the book “Lun Yu, Nhap Tac Hieu” by Confucius. Đệ Tử Quy is divided into five parts, each addressing the strict standards and rules that students must adhere to in their homes, in public, when interacting with others, and when dealing with objects. It offers guidance on cultivating proper behavior from a young age, teaching students the importance of upholding moral values, fulfilling responsibilities, abandoning evil thoughts, nurturing sincere hearts, avoiding wrongdoing, actively engaging in virtuous actions, and contributing to the harmony of family life. This document is a comprehensive guide to family education, outlining the rules, regulations, and teachings according to the East Asian tradition.
In essence, the sentences in Đệ Tử Quy consist of three words, each sentence is rhymed, and the 12-word sentences express relatively complete meanings. In total, there are 386 sentences, 90 lines, and 1080 words. The concise and easily understandable content spreads quickly and influences a wide range of readers. It is widely recited and ranks second only to “The Three Character Classic.” This undervalued “Popular Book for Children” has established the reputation of its author, Lý Dục Tú.
Đệ Tử Quy contains a total of 1080 characters and is divided into 113 tasks to be performed. Among them, “Filial Piety” (Abiding by filial piety) has 24 sections, “Behavior” (Behaving cautiously) has 13 sections, “Cautiousness” has 24 sections, “Trustworthiness” has 15 sections, “Refraining from indulging” has 21 sections, “Respecting relatives” has 4 sections, and “Studying” (Studying diligently) has 12 sections.
“Đệ Tử” means student or disciple. It refers to every individual, as everyone is someone’s child and everyone is a disciple. Thus, “Đệ Tử” encompasses all people and is not limited to young children or students of virtuous sages.
“Quy” represents the principles of being a good person and sets the standards for behavior. It is also a type of ideogram, with the character for “husband” on the left and the character for “wisdom” on the right, representing the wisdom of a great husband. Of course, the wisdom of a great husband must conform to the education of sage saints, which is also the truth of life, guiding our actions and interactions with others. “Đệ Tử Quy” emphasizes that in order to educate children, we must first educate ourselves. To teach children well, we must first improve ourselves and acquire knowledge. Only then can we become good teachers and guide others effectively.
Modern researchers have shown that the core content of “Đệ Tử Quy” is about cultivating personal growth, loving others, and achieving harmonious family and society. It serves as the foundation for becoming a good person.
Everyone knows that to lead society with genuine hearts and solve social problems, education must play a crucial role. And where should education start? It should start with comprehensive education from early childhood, with “Đệ Tử Quy” at the forefront. The innocence of young children is the perfect time to introduce them to comprehensive education, where they can easily learn and understand the ethical teachings through concise verses, creating a solid foundation for moral values and behavioral standards in their homes, in public, when interacting with others, and in their pursuit of knowledge. It can be considered the best educational material for instilling proper behavior from a young age.
Currently, many businesses are implementing Total Quality Management (TQM). As they understand the concept, they also begin to focus on Total Ethical Management (TEM). This includes ethical requirements that well-known businesses widely recognize. “Đệ Tử Quy” represents a strong aspect of business management, encompassing the behavior of leaders, managers, and employees towards others, as well as an important guiding principle in corporate culture. If businesses fully practice “Đệ Tử Quy,” they can thrive, become prosperous, and truly embody the essence of being a business.
In recent years, many prominent individuals have begun to study and practice “Đệ Tử Quy,” thereby becoming a powerful force that leads by example. After studying and applying its principles, they have achieved happiness in their personal lives and harmonious families. They also practice and promote healthy growth in their businesses and schools, as well as in various institutions, including tax offices and correctional facilities.
In the “Lễ Ký. Học Ký,” there is a saying, “Building the country and the people starts with education.” Human beings can be educated, and “Đệ Tử Quy” is the best curriculum for educating individuals. The entirety of “Đệ Tử Quy” is a practical guide. By implementing each aspect sincerely, we will surely reap the benefits.
“Đệ Tử Quy” is the fundamental guide to becoming a good person, fostering harmonious families, promoting the success of organizations, achieving social harmony, and striving for global peace.