He who by Tao purposes to help the ruler of men
Will oppose all conquest by force of arms.
For such things are wont to rebound.
Where armies are, thorns and brambles grow.
The raising of a great host
Is followed by a year of dearth.
Therefore a good general effects his purpose and stops.
He dares not rely upon the strength of arms;
Effects his purpose and does not glory in it;
Effects his purpose and does not boast of it;
Effects his purpose and does not take pride in it;
Effects his purpose as a regrettable necessity;
Effects his purpose but does not love violence.
(For) things age after reaching their prime.
That (violence) would be against the Tao.
And he who is against the Tao perishes young.
(Translation by Lin Yutang )
War is the tragedy of mankind. Lao Tzu opposed the war, and he felt that war should be ended when a goal is achieved.
Today, although it is the era of democracy, we are still facing frequent battles, it is up to the wisdom of humankind to avoid disputes and wars. Reading this text, we see the tragic scenes of post-war that Lao Tzu painted for us. We saw the desolated land filled with thorns, thistle, and brambles. Also, the famine came after that. On top of that, we can even see innocent people were killed, and families have broken, a tragic scene just beyond description.
He warned that this action would cause the consequence of the retribution and if you use force instead of reason to conquer the others will not last long.
However, the great general who follows the Tao will stop when he achieves his result. He will not glorify, boast, and be proud of himself. For he knows this is a natural way and only through this it will last and will not come to an early end.
Working hard is not necessarily useful; it is better to work smart.
Japan’s largest cosmetics company received complaints from customers complaining that the boxes of soap they bought were empty. So, to prevent this from happening again on the production line, the engineers worked hard to invent an X-ray monitor. They used the monitor to check every soapbox shipped.
The same problem occurred in another small company. Their solution was to buy a powerful industrial fan to blow each soapbox and blow away the empty boxes. Simple!
NASA discovered that in the low temperature and low gravity conditions of outer space, astronauts could not write with regular ink pens. So they spent a lot of money and effort to develop a pen that could write at low temperature without gravity.
What do the Russians do? They used pencils instead!
These stories demonstrate the difference between focusing on the “problem” and focusing on the “solution” to the problem! Sometimes we have blind spots like this at work; so to work hard is not necessarily useful; it is much better to work smart!
Last Thursday, I had terrible back pain, as well as pain in my left arm. I couldn’t understand why I was hurting so much. I thought I might have sprained something to cause the pain, so I called my primary care doctor, and she told me to get painkillers from a nurse that would last 24 hours. I usually don’t take painkillers or injections, but this was just so painful, and I couldn’t bear it. I rushed to the doctor’s office to get an injection. I felt a bit of relief, but my entire left arm was still so painful that all I could do was beg to God for release. I cried the whole night.
When I got up the next morning, it hit me that this felt like the nerve pain I felt a couple of years ago. Once my daughter found out, she realized it was a result of the car accident I had years ago that had pinched my nerves. Immediately, she made an appointment for me to go into her office for a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment because it helped me a lot last time. After the treatment, I went home and lay down to try to relax. I opened the newspaper, and usually, I don’t read the horoscopes, but this time I read it for fun. The message there read, “…Take a break and get in touch with animals or plants and let them open your heart and become warmer.”
What a great suggestion, but my body condition would not allow me to walk in the park to get in touch with plants and animals at that time. Strangely enough, early on Saturday morning, I was woken up by a message sound from my phone. I looked at it; someone had sent me the following video. The message said, “Have you ever seen birds with tailor skills? Most people have probably never seen it before. The love of mother bird will warm your heart.” Smart tailor birds cleverly use their quilted leaves to make a nest to care for young chicks. What a blessing to be able to connect with nature at home. What a blessing to receive the warmth from the mother bird to ease my pain.
Thank you to Ronit Vasani for his patience to be able to make this video.
Tailor Bird Video
There are those who will conquer the world
And make of it (what they conceive or desire).
I see that they will not succeed.
(For) the world is God’s own Vessel
It cannot be made (by human interference).
He who makes it spoils it.
He who holds it loses it.
For: Some things go forward,
Some things follow behind;
some blow hot,
And some blow cold;
Some are strong,
And some are weak;
Some may break,
And some may fall.
Hence the Sage eschews excess, eschews extravagance,
(Translation by Lin Yutang )
A constant law of history is that the emperors or rulers take turns to govern the people. A hero is nothing but a product of his current situation; the current situation produces their heroes. With that being said, we know that it is not possible to conquer the world by one’s own deliberation and intention. The consequence for a ruler to gain the world forcibly will fail, and similarly, he will lose it no matter how hard he wants to hold it.
Including the power of ruling the world regime, everything is always changing and in motion. They are relative, not absolute, at different times and different locations: some walking in front, and some follow behind; sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily; sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
sometimes one is up and sometimes down…
So saints avoid extremes, excesses, and complacency.
The Bible says that God only gives us two things – miracles and angels. Here I would like to share with you about a story that demonstrates how God gave us both of those things at the same time.
Here is my daughter-in-law’s post from Facebook at the end of January.
“Most people don’t know this, but a year and nine months ago, Jershi Lin and I were told after a series of tests at a fertility clinic that I couldn’t have a child. I fell to my knees when I got that phone call. My heart was torn in half that day. Seeing those test results crushed my soul. I had wanted to be a mom since I was a young girl. Jershi came straight home from work and held me as I sobbed. I saw the pain in his eyes, but he told me that we were a family and we would always be a family. We would adopt or do whatever necessary to be the family we wanted to be. I tried my best to make peace with that. The doctors might have told us it was impossible to conceive but God had other plans, and one week later Jershi and I became pregnant with little Sky. I know God gives blessings, but he really went out of his way this time. Skyler’s sweet nature, her spirit, soul, sense of humor and laughter lift me up every single day. She stole my heart.
Our little miracle baby Skyler Lin turns one year old today. Happy Birthday my beautiful little baby girl! Sky, you have been my inspiration, my joy, my hope and my peace. You are nothing but a pure blessing! I am so thankful for my little angel and everything you have taught me since you started to grow inside of me. You encouraged me to take steps in my life that I never knew I would be able to make. I will do my best to continue to grow as a person so that I can be the role model that you deserve. Words cannot describe the love you bring to my heart. On the day you were born I looked into your eyes and all my dreams came true. I couldn’t possibly count the hours I spent staring at you while you were sleeping this past year. You are truly the most infectiously happy baby and are such an amazingly unique little girl. You bring joy to everyone you come into contact with. I pray that I can guide you to be gentle, kind, compassionate and a free spirit able to embrace all that you are and to be all that you ever want to be. You will always have my blessing to be and will be loved “just as you are.” No matter what, I’ll always love you unconditionally. You are the sweetest part of my destiny, and I am eternally grateful to be able to love someone as precious as you. You are a gift. Our lives would not be complete without you. Thank you for the laughter, the lessons and changing me forever – you’re everything.
Skyler Lin and her pal, Gidget
Happy 1st Birthday, sweetheart.
This post is dedicated to Sky and to all women who struggle with infertility on a daily basis, my heart goes out to you as I know what it felt like to feel the devastating pain that all hope is lost… My prayers go out for you. Heaven has a plan for you and miracles do happen.”