New appreciation of wise, old thinkers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2007, 12:00am

There have been many famous leaders in times of war, such as Napoleon from France, and Zhuge Liang in ancient China. What made these men so great is their intelligence. A leader has to be brave and strong, but many have lost wars through a lack of wisdom.

Zhuge was a talented strategist. Once, he tricked his enemy, Wei commander Sima Yi, by ordering his soldiers to pretend to be workers and sweep the road. Zhuge sat calmly and played a tune on his koto at the city gate. Sima was surprised and decided not to invade Zhuge's city.

Wisdom together with strength can yield twice the result with half the effort.


The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Thanks for your letter, Jacky. There is, indeed, much to be learned from such great generals and strategists. There does seem to be a trend towards a new appreciation of great, old Chinese thinkers.

I'm thinking in particular of Confucius. In the last few years, he has become quite fashionable. In fact, there is even a plan to celebrate Confucius' birthday as a public holiday.

This suggestion has recently had support from Beijing. And both Catholic and protestant groups have indicated their acceptance that one public holiday at Easter could be swapped to commemorate the philosopher's birthday on the 27th day of the eighth month in the Lunar calendar.

Kate, Editor