Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 91

from Verse Ninety-One
When virtue is reborn, the world is at peace. The pivot is the leader, who is the guide for the people. Those above are models for those below. What those above like, those below will consume. If those above have the virtue of the Way, those below will have humanity and justice.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
Here we are 91 verses into this text and this is the first passage that originates with Wen Tzu, not Lao Tzu. Almost every verse up to this point begins with the words "Lao-tzu said" or something similar. In the present case, however, Wen Tzu is addressing King P'ing.

While there is no question that much of the emphasis for living a life in balance with the Way is the responsibility of each of us as individuals, as social beings we also look to our leaders -- legal, governmental, religious, civic, philosophic -- to provide guidance. It should also be noted that, since each of us serves in the roles of follower and leader to others, the message contained above applies to everybody.

If enough people modeled the virtues of humanity and justice, society would begin to turn in that direction as well. If nothing else, there would be peer pressure to be fair, peaceful and simple. Peer pressure would morph into societal mores and, in time, these mores would be better reflected in our laws.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

1 comment:

  1. My first response to this was, it seems like a Christmas message.
    "When virtue is reborn, the world is at peace."

    A pivotal leader...he comes at the solstice. We all can participate in that pivot. Whatever, whoever. You and me and everybody.


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