Thursday, November 10, 2022

39. Obstruction

The Lines

Bottom. [6] When a man first encounters an obstruction, it is foolish to move ahead without regarding it carefully. He should back off, carefully assess the problem, compare his resources, and wait until the time is favorable for moving ahead. Thoughtlessly moving ahead can only make matters worse. This is not a time for brazen action, but for thoughtful planning.

2. [6] There is one situation when it is entirely proper for a man to force his way ahead in spite of obstacles, and that is when he is doing it in service to, or at the command of, someone in a position of authority. In such a case, he does not have the option to do what is best for himself, but is obliged to go forward regardless of the outcome. Since he is not acting on his own behalf, he cannot be accused of acting foolishly.

3. [9] A man in a leadership position must think of others before putting himself in the way of danger. His responsibility to his own people requires him to think about the effect his actions will have on those who are dependent upon him. And if he backs away from danger, he will be showing consideration to those who need him, and their happiness will be his reward.

4. [6] A man thinks he has sufficient resources to move ahead through the obstructions, but he is mistaken. Were he to do so anyway, he would get into a bad situation, realize too late that he has miscalculated, and then not be able to extricate himself. But if he instead withdraws and waits until he is able to unite with others who can give him some assistance, if he accumulates more resources, and if he makes better plans, he will be able to overcome the difficulties and move on to success.

5. [9] In a desperate struggle, when the obstructions cannot be avoided and the man must move ahead regardless, he realizes that he cannot let any amount of danger stop him. The mission is too important. His determination and sense of mission will encourage others who will join with him, and together, under his leadership and with careful planning, the problems will be overcome and success will follow.

Top. [6] When a sage has abandoned the world and all its cares, he is disinclined to become involved with a difficult situation that he is presented with. The easy path for him is to remain apart and perfect his own character -- to let the world go on in its endless encounter with difficulties, and for him to seek higher things. But he cannot. A sense of obligation calls him back, because only he can do what needs to be done. Only he has the skills, the knowledge, the experience, and the wisdom to do the job correctly. If he returns to the struggle, he will be able to produce something lasting and substantial -- something really great -- that will benefit many people. Therefore, it is a wise move for the people to approach this great man and seek his help in overcoming the obstructions

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