Monday, May 28, 2012

Line by Line - Verse 69, Line 8

There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

There is no greater catastrophe than underestimating the enemy.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

There is no greater disaster than to underestimate the enemy
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

Attacking an enemy you've underestimated is a costly mistake.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
In war and everyday life, we land ourselves in trouble when we start believing our own press clippings! Overconfidence is one of the banes of the human psyche. And, for me, that's what underestimating others is all about.

When we come to think that we are the smartest, strongest, prettiest, most powerful of the lot, our planning becomes slipshod. We don't do our due diligence. We end up undermining our own hopes for success.

To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.

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