True to Oneself
When the sage uses his troops,
even though he may overthrow nations,
he never loses the heart of people.
His generosity enriches eons generations
but not for people’s love,
thus he who delights in
acceptance by everyone and everything
is not a sage.
Playing favoritism is not benevolent.
Timing action is not noble.
Not encompassing both gain and loss as one
is not a gentleman.
Losing oneself for name is not scholarly
and not true to himself,
he cannot rule over others.
Many renowned people in history
were enslaved rulers,
they suited themselves to what suited others,
and not what really suited themselves.
(from Chapter 6, “Great Master”, Book of Chuang Tzu)
What Chuang Tzu’s writings say about the enslaved rulers in history is still very true even now, both in East and West. They suit themselves to what suit others, and not really what suit themselves. It is difficult in modern age of democracy and Internet when political leaders must depend on votes of people and there is so much buzz on social media, how can people know the real truth and right from wrong?