More in the News

Here is one of those cutesy articles that the New York Times Magazine likes to print. It is called The Newest Mandarins. The article is optimistic about one of darkest subjects in history: Is it possible for people to think for themselves.  (I tend to be more negative on this account.)
On the word yong (courage), Lei Bo cited chapter seven of The Analects, where Confucius told a disciple that if he “were to lead the Three Armies of his state,� he “would not take anyone who would try to wrestle a tiger with his bare hands and walk across a river [because there is not a boat]. If I take anyone, it would have to be someone who is wary when faced with a task and who is good at planning and capable of successful execution.� No one ever put Confucius in charge of an army, said Lei Bo, and Confucius never thought that he would be asked, but being a professional, he could expect a career either in the military or in government. And his insight about courage in battle and in all matters of life and death pertains to a man’s interior: his judgment and awareness, his skills and integrity. This was how Lei Bo explored the word “courage�: he located it in its early life before it was set apart from ideas like wisdom, humaneness and trust. He tried to describe the whole sense of the word. The business students and their teacher were hooked. They wanted Lei Bo back every week for as long as they were reading “The Art of War.�

The one thing I have to add to the this discussion is that in my mind "courage" is related to "compassion." This is important because the word Compassion is a key concept, and a key precept, in Daoism.  The word compassion in Chinese is made up of the  characters for roughness and heart.  The Daoist idea of compassion is that it is natural courage, the courage a mother tiger uses to defend her cubs.Yikes