Men of ardor are regarded by the world as good, but their goodness doesn't succeed in keeping them alive. So I don't know whether their goodness is really good or not. Perhaps I think it's good - but not good enough to save their lives. Perhaps I think it's no good - but still good enough to save the lives of others. So I say, if your loyal advice isn't heeded, give way and do not wrangle. Tzu-hsu wrangled and lost his body. But if he hadn't wrangled, he wouldn't have made a name. Is there really such a thing as goodness or isn't there?Whether an individual lives a virtuous or sloven life, we all end up in much the same place: dead. How we choose to conduct our lives is important to how we treat and ourselves in the hear-and-now. Once we're dead, how could it matter?
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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