Proper Self-Restraint

Lu Xiansheng

PureInsight | April 27, 2008

[] The most difficult thing in life is to exercise proper self-restraint.

There is a ratio in science called the Golden Ratio and Germany
astronomer Johannes Kepler called it a "precious jewel." It is the
proportion of aesthetics, the model of our most comfortable sense. The
Golden Ratio is actually everywhere in nature and in our daily
life.  Things such as the dimensions of a flag, the ratio of our
upper vs. lower bodies, temperature differences in a day, even the
intensity of sunshine; everything is affected by this law of science.
It is also the proper self-discipline in our daily life.

To conduct oneself just right is the highest realm of human life.
Handling a matter just right is the biggest challenge of life's

Towards the end of Qing dynasty, General Zeng Guofang returned to Hunan
to rebuild the Hunan army. When he fought the uprising of the Taiping
Army, he took back several cities occupied by the Taiping Army and
captured the stronghold of Jinling and so he was appointed a Marquis.
His Hunan army soon exceeded 300 thousand soldiers, which no one else
could command. The army obeyed only his commands, like a private armed
force. Zeng Guofang sensed the problem that his achievements might
jeopardize his emperor's position so he cut his military power to
remove the worries of the Qing government. He thus gained the trust of
the government and was put into an even more important post. There were
many people in history who had performed unmatched meritorious service
but, towards the end, they couldn't escape the fate alluded to in the
saying, "when cunning hares are dead, the hunting dogs are cooked." The
difference between these great heroes and Zeng Guofang was that Zeng
could exercise proper restraint in his position as a general.

Looking around our world, because of the Golden Ratio, we can have a
harmonious society. That happens when people around us exercise proper
restraint, being people who understand that our lives will have both
the annoyance of failure and elation of success.  

When we grasp our lives properly, we master our fate.

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