Confucius emphasized five cardinal relationships: those between ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, older and younger brother, and friends. These relationships are considered the most important aspects of life, because they teach us how to live as a part of society.
The concept of filial piety (xiao) was fundamental to Confucianism. Filial piety is defined as respect for one’s parents and ancestors. It is a core virtue in Chinese culture, and it is the main concern of Confucianism.
Filial piety is an important virtue not only for the individual but also for society as a whole because it provides order and harmony within families and across generations. In return for the respect paid by children to their parents, parents are expected to provide for their children’s needs while they are young, as well as look after them when they age or become ill. As this obligation often lasts throughout life, it helps produce a sense of security among people who might otherwise feel alone or vulnerable.
The first two relationships are those between ruler and subject and father and son. Confucius believed that these were the most important because they set the foundation for all other relationships in life. In order for people to be successful rulers or parents, they need to learn how to be respectful towards others before they can expect others to respect them. The second two relationships are husband-wife and older brother-younger brother. These two relationships are important because they teach us how we should treat our partners in life; especially when it comes to marriage.
The last relationship is friendships which teaches us how we should treat other human beings who mean something special to us in our lives.