11 November 2016

Harmony of Great and Little - Respecting Each Other- DaoDeJing 61

Power is not about serving yourself but for serving others.
Power and wealth are not meant for our abuse to satisfy our ego and lusts. It is meant for us to serve and contribute by creating opportunities for others. Knowing our position and serving out of position with respect to one another is the key to harmony and progress. Lao Zi says in DaoDeJing 61.
DaoDeJing Chapter 61 Text & Translation

大国者下流,天下之交,天下之牝。
The great country should stay downstream, collecting flows from the world, become the mother of the world.

牝常以静胜牡,以静为下。
The mother/wife always uses gentleness to win against the father/husband. Gentleness stays at the lower position [to serve].

故大国以下小国,则取小国。
Hence the great country must stay a low posture to engage the little countries to win their following.

小国以下大国,则取大国。
Little countries must also stay low to serve the great country, and thereby gains the protection of the great.

故或下以取,或下而取。
Hence it is always keeping a low posture to win a following or to gain favor.

大国不过欲兼畜人
The Great country just wants to take care of people.

小国不过欲入事人。
Litte countries just want to enter to serve.

夫两者各得其所欲,大者宜为下。
Both gains what they want. The great must remain low [to serve and care].

The One Word to have Harmony - Respect Each Other - 孝悌
The one word to achieve harmony is actually 'love'. But love means many different things to different people. So a better is 'Respect'. Confucius will use the word 孝 filial piety. It means the combination of elder loving the younger and the younger respecting the elder. The greater your power or higher your position, the more you need to use your power and position rightly, which is to make a bigger contribution to the world.  Power and honor are not meant to satisfy one's ego and self-indulgence. It is demanded of such to serve and contribute. 

In a world of inequality, there can still be harmony, as long as the right values are practiced. The great are not to abuse or bully the small but to care for and win over the heart of the small. In the same way. the small are to respect the leadership of the great and to follow their leading. This is not difficult when the small trust that their leader is working their benefits. 

Applying it to a company will make this teaching clearer. The boss with the wisdom and resources will start a company to create jobs for employees. The boss's main job is to ensure the company has happy employees to serve and create happy customers. Happy customers will happily pay for the products and services of the company to make the boss happy. It is to the interests of boss and employees to work together for the growth and profits of the company. Boss and employees should not be considered in competition with each other.  This happens when the boss makes use of his higher position and power to exploit the employees.  This starting point of 'I am higher than you' creates the fight. Lao Zi tells us that the boss should start at the low position, to receive and to serve the employees. The employees in returns give their best in their jobs. Then the interests of both will be served.

The rule of harmony is simple - know your position, to lead or to follow, and then respect each other and give of your best to serve according to your position. Your position in life is fixed. As you play your position well, one day you can come out to start your own company and be a boss. Whatever and whenever, respect your position and respect others to have harmony and success in life. Power is never for your abuse but for serving and contributing.

Lim Liat (c) 11-11-2016

Notes: Chapter 60 is Harmony with opposite roles. Chapter 61 is Harmony with different powers.
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