Take care of yourself while being of service to others.
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41 – Forty-one Sun / Decrease
The stoic Mountain drains its excess waters to the Lake below:
The Superior Person curbs his anger and sheds his desires.
To be frugal and content is to possess immeasurable wealth within.
Nothing of value could be refused such a person.
Make a portion of each meal a share of your offering.
This is an occasion for downsizing to fighting trim.
Simplicity and economy are strong defenses against the slings and arrows of Outrageous Fortune.
Whether this is a time of want or a time of plenty, it is an auspicious time to shed a dependency.
Nine in the second place means:
You are able to provide what others need without depriving yourself.
Keep to this humble course of aid, but do not attempt a heroic rescue, or unforeseen calamities will fall.
To undertake something brings misfortune.
Without decreasing oneself,
One is able to bring increase to others.
‘American Dignity’ – Tomas Lasansky
A high-minded self-awareness and a consistent seriousness with no forfeit of dignity are necessary if a man wants to be of service to others. He who throws himself away in order to do the bidding of a superior diminishes his own position without thereby giving lasting benefit to the other. This is wrong. To render true service of lasting value to another, one must serve him without relinquishing oneself.
27 – Twenty-Seven I / Providing Nourishment
Beneath the immobile Mountain the arousing Thunder stirs:
The Superior Person preserves his freedom under oppressive conditions by watching what comes out of his mouth, as well as what goes in.
Endure and good fortune will come.
Nurture others in need, as if you were feeding yourself.
Take care not to provide sustenance for those who feed off others.
Stay as high as possible on the food chain.
You are a conduit in this instance, able to provide the sustenance needed by others.
Position yourself to nourish the truly needy and worthy.
Avoid situations where you might be coerced into supporting the parasites and vermin who deprive your true charges.
Your own nourishment is an issue here, too.
Remember Lao Tzu’s three Great Treasures:
Only the person possessed of Compassion, Modesty and Frugality can remain fit enough to stay free of desperation and keep control of the situation.