In Victory and In Defeat

“If you keep feeling the bite of a point that has been sharpened, the point will not stay sharp for long. (…) When the work is finished, and one’s name is being distinguished, the way of Heaven is in withdrawing into obscurity. ”

– Tao Te Ching, Verse 9

If your attitude was correct, if the path traveled was noble, the result is of secondary concern. The merit or demerit is never exclusively yours – Fortune always has Her say.

Celebrate victory with the ones closest to you, with good posture, generosity and in moderation. Ostentation drives away friends, and envy drives enemies to action.

Suffer defeat with dignity. Seek support from those closest to you and whom you trust, but don’t shy away from your responsibility in the matter – do not expose them to bitterness, do not make them bear witness to your resentment.

Nothing dissolves friendships faster. Any good person understands the pain and suffering borne by his or her fellow human. But nobody loves people who resent life and Fortune. Nobody likes a crybaby.

If the “point” of defeat bites you so unbearably, then you need to be defeated more often, until it loses its sharpness.