Mencius (371-289 BCE) is often considered as one of the wisest Confucians, second only to Confucius himself. His conversations with disciples and rulers are collected in the second of the Four Books; his observations include that each person is linked in an intricate network of parents, siblings, spouse, friends, and socio-political leaders. This network reaches back in time as well, encompassing all one’s ancestors and the cultural heroes who have made civilized life possible.