Chinese philosopher and religious figure Confucius advocated personal goodness and good social order, which are rooted in respect for and reverence of one's parents. Confucianism holds that if a follower develops "hsiao," or care and concern for family, he will act appropriately in society.
Confucius, who lived from 551 to 479 B.C., put forward five relationships as most important: a loving father and reverential son; a gentle elder brother and a respectful younger brother; a good husband and a wife who listens well; a considerate older friend and a deferential younger friend; and a benevolent ruler and loyal subject. Family is the basic unit of society, as denoted in the first three relationships.
When a person reveres and respects his parents, he may then extend this concept of hsiao to family, friends and people and society in general.