“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

I’ve come across this one on Twitter a few times. It’s very much in tune with the Buddha’s message as expressed in the Dhammapada:

Much though he recites the sacred texts, but acts not accordingly, that heedless man is like a cowherd who only counts the cows of others — he does not partake of the blessings of the holy life.

And it’s the kind of thing I could imagine the Buddha saying. But it didn’t quite ring true for me, and so I did a little investigation.

And it turns out that this is in fact a Daoist quote, from the sayings of Chuang Tzu. You’ll find it, for example, in the 1906 book Musings of a Chinese Mystic: Selections from the Philosophy of Chuang Tzŭ by Herbert Allen Giles.

The first book I’ve found this in that attributes the quote to the Buddha is 2006’s Undue Diligence (how ironic!) by Paul C. Haughey, making this one of our more recent Fake Buddha Quotes. A limited-date Google web search — although it has to be said that their dating is often off — suggests that this quote first became attributed to the Buddha just a few years before this — possibly in 2001 or 2002.

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