03 August 2012

Stage 7 Joy of the Truly Rich - 5 Gems from I-Ching

Wealth is only meaningful when we share it. We share with those that help us generate it and those that are in needs. We invest it to develop the talents and share it with them to promote co-operation and harmony. True joy comes from enjoying it together with others. We then understand why the rich are giving their wealth away. They are not stupid but really wise because that is the meaning of being a human.

A famous Chinese book comes with the title " 穷的只剩下钱 So poor that the only thing left is money." We can find other similar quotes like "Money can buy a house but not a home; medicines but not health; a bed but not sleep; sex but not love etc. Jesus said, "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." [Luke 12:15]. The truth is that money iteself is not evil. It is how we get it and how we spend it. I define wealth not in terms of the accumulation of the things but in terms of the amount spent in bringing goodness to others and self. This is the key teaching of i-Ching as well. The true joy of riches is in sharing it with others. Here are 5 gems from i-Ching that show us how to really enjoy the wealth that we have at this stage.

G1 Spend it on Worthy Projects - #14 大有 Great Possession
We got rich through doing the things covered in Stage 1 to Stage 6 summarized in one phrase, "by doing the right things well without giving up". Now that we are rich and powerful, we should not change the way be behave. We continue to use our wealth to stop evil and promote goodness. Spending money on helping the those in needs, finding cure for diseases, relieving sufferings are worthy and meaningful projects. Spending money to protect the environment, promote peace and harmony among people and nations are worthy projects too. The key is to use our wealth to bring goodness on earth and then we share in the joy with them. Mencius said that "enjoying oneself alone is not as good as enjoying with others 独乐乐不如众乐乐.

G2 Enrich Others & Co-operation - #42 益 Increase
This gem talks about taking from the rich and giving it to the poor. It is about taking from the CXOs, the senior management and enriching those at the bottom ranks, the staff and workers. Good working relationship between the top and bottom will lead to greater profits. It is good to see the changing trend in the western mangement books towards putting the staff or employees first. They talk about bossless company. But I find the term a typical one-track thinking of the western mindset to swing from one end to the other. In reality, there are times and situations that need a boss and times and situations that need not. A better term and concept will be a joint dynamic boss and not bossless. Most of the time, when the objectives are clear, people can be self-directed and jointly work together for the benefits of the company. At certain crisis or critical times, the one that is most able in that situation should take the lead. When the situation changes, another one that is most capable will take over the lead. When the mission is accomplished, the boss steps down and the organization can be run jointly with service agreements and understanding. There is in fact a company that does that - The Morning Star Company.

G3 Develop, Care and Share the Critical Resources - #48 井 The Well 
In the ancient world, the well is critical resource that need to be built and the water shared. What are the critical resources for your wealth generation? You need to invest, develop, care and protect it. One key resource is definitely people and their skills. We must remember to share the rewards with those that help produce it. In present world, we exchange our time, labor and skill for the salary we earn or for the profits that our customers pay us. Our reward is money. With the money we earn, we use it to buy the things that we need and enjoy. We must therefore continue to invest the money earned on the people, skills and production resources that generate it. We need to continue to renew our skills and production facilities. In the high technology world, the critical skills may change with time and we shall cover this in the next post.

G4 Gather and Build Abundance of Talents and Wisdom - #55 丰 Abundance
Abundance here is meant to be abundance in talents, wisdom, righteousness and harmonious co-operations. We build the right culture on righteousness and harmony and we must bring in the talents to increase the wisdom. Such accumulation will lead to greater abundance and benefits to the world.

G5 The Joy of Togetherness - #58 兑 Lake
What is heaven like? Is it not everyone doing well and living harmoniously and happily together ? You don't have to wait till heaven to enjoy this joy. Just share what you have with others. Joy comes from a strong principles centered inner life and a soft and supporting exterior. Joy is about togetherness. It enables people to overcome hardship and life threatening challenges with confidence and vitality. Learning and growing together brings joy

By now you get the drift that only in sharing our wealth do we find the true joy and meaning for our wealth.

Follow This Series Making I-Ching Come Alive!

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Lim Liat (C) 3 Aug 2012

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