There is no inherent entitlement owed to us. Our integrity and good works may bring a positive return. Polish your character.
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56 – Fifty-Six Lu / The Wanderer
Fire on the Mountain, catastrophic to man, a passing annoyance to the Mountain:
The Superior Person waits for wisdom and clarity before exacting Justice, then lets no protest sway him.
Find satisfaction in small gains.
To move constantly forward is good fortune to a Wanderer.
You are a stranger to this situation.
It is your attraction to the exotic that has led you here, but you will move on to a new vista when this one has lost its mystique.
Because much of this environment is foreign to you, you must exercise only the best judgement.
You don’t know the custom here, and it’s too easy to cross a line you don’t know is there.
Because you are the foreigner in this setting, you have no history to acquit you.
Watch, listen, study, contemplate, then step lightly but decisively on.
Six at the beginning [yin at bottom] means:
A traveler with petty complaints and too many demands soon wears out his welcome.
If the wanderer busies himself with trivial things,
He draws down misfortune upon himself.
‘The Wanderer’ by German artist George Seir, 1934
A wanderer should not demean himself or busy himself with inferior things he meets with along the way. The humbler and more defenseless his outward position, the more should he preserve his inner dignity. For a stranger is mistaken if he hopes to find a friendly reception through lending himself to jokes and buffoonery. The result will be only contempt and insulting treatment.
21 – Twenty-One Shih Ho / Biting Through
The merciless, searing judgement of Lightning fulfills the warning prophecies of distant Thunder.
Sage rulers preserved Justice by clearly defining the laws, and by delivering the penalties decreed.
Though unpleasant, it is best to let justice have its due.
A terrible reckoning is due.
A wrong will be righted — and even if it has been you who has been wronged, you will tremble at the terrible power of Justice untempered by Mercy.
Pray for your oppressor, that his punishment will fit his crime.