Wednesday, April 6, 2022

12. Standstill

The Lines

Bottom. [6] The superior man encourages associates to retire from the fray as he does. Such a withdrawal at this time promises the opportunity for personal growth and development and for regrouping at a later, more propitious time, whereas continuing with an active struggle in a time when one can have little or no influence will only result in embarrassing waste and failure. It is of much greater importance at such times to preserve one's integrity.
2. [6] There is no doubt that inferior people would welcome the superior man if he would join with them and provide much needed help. But he declines to participate, since he knows that there are no real gains to be made, and his participation would only produce embarrassing failure. Inferior people are always searching for something, even if they have insufficient depth to recognize and follow a rightful path. But a superior man recognizes that it is more important for him to maintain his integrity than to assist people who cannot be helped, no matter how much they desire it.
3. [6] Inferior people who occupy leadership positions undeservedly begin to recognize the tenuousness of their position and the vacuity of their philosophy. They are embarrassed by their own lack of ability, even if they are unwilling to acknowledge it openly. This, at least, is a mark of some progress.
4. [9] The time of inactivity draws to a close. A man who assumes a leadership role on his own authority cannot fulfill the needs of the time. His efforts will likely end in failure. But a man who feels with certainty that his taking a leadership role is in accord with the will of Heaven and with the forces of Fate will be able to find a rightful path and will be a benefit to those who accept his leadership.
5. [9] The time of inactivity is over. The superior man returns to a position of great influence, but he avoids over-confidence. He does not rely on assumptions of his own powers, hence he is always aware that he may be inadequate for the task. He questions his every action and recognizes fully what would happen if things go wrong. He does this in order to be certain that what he does is correct and will succeed. By remaining so cautious, however, he is able to succeed.
Top. [9] Although the time of inactivity is over, it does not end without the active contribution of the superior man. Things do not bring order to themselves; someone must furnish the energy and the direction while keeping the goal in mind in order to lift things to a state of order. Therefore, the superior man overcomes the stagnation through deliberate acts, carefully planned and executed.
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