When you set your weapons down and refuse to fight, your adversary has no other choice but to walk away. Let them think what they want about your position. You know the fight wasn’t worth the effort and there was no reason to destroy their weak ego. Always give your cornered opponent a way to save face and walk away. You can’t fight desperation.
Surround your enemy and you’ll create a no win situation for anyone. People who are desperate and have nothing left to lose will fight harder and dirtier than any other opponent. Don’t push your adversary into a corner where they have no other option but to fight back with all they have. You might win, maybe. And if you do, the tarnished reputation will be yours. Even if you’re not the one who started the fight.
When you surround an army, leave an outlet free.
Do not press a desperate foe too hard.
~ Sun Tzu “The Art of War”
Showing compassion and giving your enemy a way to escape will sing volumes about you and your character. That alone will allow you to win the day and even the war. But don’t surrender to a battle you didn’t start or that wasn’t your fault to begin with. Sometimes fighting for your reputation is worth the effort. But there are ways to do that quietly where no one needs to know the details behind the scenes.
Your world is not dependent on the opinion of an adversary. Who cares if they don’t approve of you. Who cares what their negative judgement is. They don’t know you and their perspective is warped with hurt and hate. Let them walk away and glare back over their shoulder. Their the ones who are living in the past behind the lies and warped version of the “truth”.
You and those standing behind you know the facts and what’s really transpired. They’re the only ones who truly matter. Their love and care for you is more than enough to carry you through the day and into the future. Let the old enemies live in the past where their karma will take care of their future. You focus on forgiving yourself for getting involved and caught up in something that wasn’t your burden in the first place.
By the end of the day you’ll be surrounded by friends, love and laughter. You’ll feel better once the weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It may take a few months to fully put things to rest. But let the wheels turn as they may. Your fight won’t be that difficult and your side will prevail in the end. For today, show compassion and don’t engage in a battle with those who are not worthy of your attention in the first place.
Sun Tzu was by far the greatest general in history. His “Art of War” is studied by military and business professionals to this very day. And it has been used with great success in both avenues of struggle and leadership. It’s even a good thing for spiritual insights and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Tu Mu is perhaps the best known as a poet, but his knowledge of war and history was also well renowned. He is documented as one of The Commentators of Sun Tzu and his approach to war. While the comment about leaving your opponent seems like a passive act of compassion, Tu Mu explains:
“This does not mean that the enemy is to be allowed to escape. The object, as Tu Mu puts it, is “to make him believe that there is a road to safety, and thus prevent his fighting with the courage of despair.” adding pleasantly: “After that, you may crush him.”
War scholars have debated this approach and linked it to “fighting another day”. This is the message in today’s card. If you push your enemy too hard, you run the risk of making them desperate and lashing out anyway they can. That could put others at risk that you don’t want harmed or involved. Give them a way to escape, so you can reassemble your defenses, fight another day and crush your foe once and for all. You don’t do that by giving up, giving in or admitting to something that you didn’t do in the first place. Fight for your reputation and justice. Not for saving face or feeling so guilty that you punish yourself for the choices someone else has made.
You can learn more and read “The Art of War” at the Literature Collection.
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