Sunday, May 22, 2022
The Lines Bottom.
 At the very beginning, when the time is auspicious for the superior man finally to overcome past difficulties, it is essential that he carefully gauge his ability to advance. A set-back at this time could be devastating, and would probably abort his entire mission. Because it is a time of transition, the opposing forces are still alive and strong. Therefore, the superior man only attempts as much as he is certain that he can accomplish. To force himself forward regardless of his ability to sustain the advance would produce unfortunate results.
2.  The superior man is prepared for any untoward event as he endeavors to secure advancement. If he is mentally prepared for any eventuality whatsoever, then he is not shaken by anything that crops up. He hopes for a smooth transition, of course; but he also carefully considers the many ways that things could go wrong so that he will not only be ready for them, but he will know what to do if something untoward happens. With such thorough preparation, he can walk in the midst of dangers as if they were not there, and people will accept his leadership without question. Meticulous attention to every possible problem that might arise extinguishes fear and anxiety. Preparation creates ease of mind.
3.  In a time of transition, inferior people remain active and must be dealt with. One cannot shun them entirely, because they still have the power to undermine the superior man's advancement and defeat his goals. At the same time, to seem to be accommodating to the inferior elements raises questions in the minds of many of the superior man's followers, who actively oppose the inferior elements, as to whether he is really committed to the goals he says he supports. The superior man regrets these uncertain appearances, but he is sure of two things: he cannot outright reject and turn his back on the inferior elements, otherwise that would undermine his own intentions; and his integrity is absolutely unimpeachable, regardless of appearances, because he has no intention whatsoever to actually support the inferior elements. He is in a position where he cannot fully explain himself, for that would be taken by the inferior elements as a kind of repudiation that is precisely what he does not intend to convey to them. Therefore, the superior man does what he must, ignores the discontent of his followers with himself, weathers the minor distrust and uncertainty, and eventually, all works out for the best.
4.  A man wishes desperately to advance his own goals, but push as hard as he might, he finds it is impossible and he cannot. The difficulties are greater than his powers enable him to overcome, and his every effort is met with superior opposition. His problem, however, is his own anxious and insistent desire. If he would just let go and let others carry through, things would work out, and he would find success, even if it would not come in exactly the form he desires it. But he cannot let go, and will not. It has to be his way, or not at all. He insists that his exertions be met with acceptance, and so his failure is unavoidable.
5.  Offhand, an inferior man in a high position seems impossible to overcome. He is in a position of authority, and can defeat any measure the superior man comes up with. But the superior man cannot surrender his integrity, even in the face of seemingly impossible odds. He maintains a steady course, sticking always to his inner convictions, regardless of the apparent chance of success. And he must do this. This is the only course open to him if he is to remain a superior man.
Top.  At the very end of a transition, when almost all of the inferior element is eliminated and only the most insignificant remnants remain, it might seem that the little that remains is hardly worthy of attention. Since the bulk of the work has been done, a man might assume that the tiny little bit of evil left will soon cease to exist due to the overall momentum that has been achieved. But this is a mistake. Deliberate, conscious effort must be exerted, otherwise these insignificant remnants will stay in place and begin to take root again, just like a cancer that was not entirely cut out. Therefore, the man cannot rely on momentum to complete the job. He must keep working at it until the inferior elements are completely eradicated and not a hint of the past condition remains. Otherwise what looked like a successful conclusion will deteriorate and end in misfortune.
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Saturday, May 21, 2022
Friday, May 20, 2022
Bottom.  From the very beginning of a joint effort, right and justice must prevail, and the enterprise must be conducted in an organized fashion. The aim and purpose of the joint effort must be meaningful and made clear to all participants if their loyalty and enthusiasm is expected. Without this element of genuineness, the enterprise is sure to fail. The good leader, therefore, is careful to make clear to all members of the group the purpose of the enterprise and as much about how it will be conducted as is reasonable.
2.  He who fills the role of leadership must consider himself a part of the group he expects to lead. His fortunes are tied together with theirs and theirs with his, and he accepts responsibility for all. Only someone who can accept this great responsibility is worthy to be a leader. Whatever honors or recognition he receives is not his alone; it is bestowed upon him as the representative of the group, and each member should look upon such honors as being given to him also.
3.  If the leader lacks a clear vision of the group's purpose, if the members of the group are left to their own devices and have no clear understanding of where they are going or what they should be doing, misfortune is bound to result. If there is no proper leadership, if every member of the group is left to rely on his own inept or inadequate vision of the goals of the enterprise, how can it succeed? Without a unifying vision and a clear definition of means, how can a difficult objective be achieved? Uncertainty leads to wasted effort and time lost, and is a sure way for a concerted effort to become unraveled.
4.  Retreat is not a disgrace when one is up against impossible odds or an unbeatable foe. Rather, to continue to struggle against such insurmountable difficulties suggests a stubbornness or a failure to carefully calculate the chances for success, and this could only lead to a great catastrophe. But a carefully planned retreat saves the enterprise, avoids catastrophe, and opens the possibility for a renewed struggle at a later time when a more favorable outcome may be expected. A leader who continues in the face of certain defeat just to avoid the appearance of cowardice is not strong but is weak, because he is being guided by fear and a misplaced sense of honor, rather than an intelligent and responsible assessment of the situation. The important thing is the goal of the enterprise, not a mere appearance.
5.  The leader of a group should be a man of thorough experience and vision. If a younger man with little experience who lacks a clear understanding of the problems that lie ahead is put in charge, all of the effort, which should be carefully directed, will lead to misfortune. Without a unifying vision and a central command, the element of danger which is inherent in any mass of people can easily surface, allowing the enterprise to get out of hand and people to indulge in destructive behavior. If uncontrolled, the struggle becomes a mob action and the purpose of the struggle degenerates into whatever each member thinks it may be. This is a prescription for chaos and disintegration.
Top.  When the end has been achieved, when the struggle is finally over, all those who aided the effort should be rewarded generously. But it is important that even faithful helpers not be given rewards and responsibilities of which they are not worthy. Let inferior helpers be rewarded with material gifts, but not with positions in which they may do harm and undermine the whole purpose of the struggle.
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
The LinesBottom.  At the very beginning, there is a sense that something significant is approaching, but it is not yet apparent. Under such circumstances, it is important to continue with normal activities and not to act prematurely. A premature move at this time is a display of anxiety and exposes one's hand. This could weaken one's position when the time comes to act.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
The LinesBottom.  A man of ability and strength is accustomed to forcing his way ahead. But when that path is effectively blocked, he leaves off being forceful, and remains in readiness to go forward or back as the situation requires. Good fortune will be the result, because he is not testing his fate, and he stands ready to utilize whatever opportunities open to him.
Monday, May 16, 2022
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Saturday, May 14, 2022
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