Production processes and services bear effects on the operation of the business, in both controllable and uncontrollable ways. Streamlining strategic planning and teamwork developments with optimized goals is therefore the crucial success factor to the organization’s success. Equally important to aligning leadership and team-wide progressive tactical adaptiveness, aptitude for objective SWOT analysis and think outside the box, appreciation that nothing is as certain as change itself, and thus, develop the ability to not only weather the storm but also identify opportunities from crisises; the author hereby seizes the opportunity to showcase a key food for thought, yet, uplifting to the long days in the office throughout the week.
Yan Hui, the beloved disciple of Confucius, is known for having a thirst for knowledge and sense of moral obligations. Coming across a crowd in front of a fabric shop while running errands in the market one morning, he saunted over to see what was happening. A heated dispute, as it turned out, between the fabric retailer and an angry man, apparently a customer to the shop. “3X8 equals 23, I’m not paying you 24 coins!” the man asserted.
Yan Hui entered the shop, respectfully introduced himself, and inquired “senior patron, pardon me if you may. Perhaps 3X8 equals 24, not 23 as you have been misled. There is no ground to quarrel, I’m afraid.”
“This is none of your business! How old are you, anyways?! I listen to no one except Confucius the great. Only he can settle the right and wrong of this matter. We shall pay him a visit if you wish, now!”, the infuriated fabric customer retorted with expletives deleted.
“What would you do if ruled to be wrong?” pressed Yan Hui.
“Should the master determine, I shall be put to the guillotine, willingly! With that, what would be your penalty?”demanded the angry man.
“If that is what it comes to, I shall surrender my Wu Sha Mao” (official tittle hat) declared Yan Hui.“Done!”, the two wagered.
Having decided on the investigation, Confucius smiled to Yan Hui and, to the disciple’s surprise, pointed out that “3×8 equals 23 is, nonetheless, correct, Yan Hui. Yield to the defendant’s submission and handover the Wu Sha Mao at once. Yan Hui handed over his official hat with no squabble, while the man took it with grins of glee, having won a favorable verdict. Appearing observant, though, Yan Hui did not internalize the verdict. “Age must be taking a toll on master’s rationality. Perhaps, this is the appropriate time to part from Confucianism”.
Thus, the next morning he sought the master’s presence to obtain permission to bid farewell and journey home instantly to attend to urgencies that had arose. Understanding the underlying motives, Confucius made no queries and granted the request. In greeting welfare before parting, the favorite disciple was told to return at the soonest opportunity and left with two precautionary words:”Do not seek cover from big trees, nor take life without certainty”.
Yan Hui initiated a gesture of reverence and replied “your words of wisdom shall be taken to heart”, and took off.Having paced through a good distance, a lightening thunderstorm came into being. Acknowledging the buildup, Yan advanced towards a big tree for shelter. And then, he reflected on the master’s words, “do not seek cover from big trees, nor take life without certainty”. “All the devoted years must have not been in vain. What’s with following instructions one more time?”, quibbled the disciple. Thus, he decided to abandon the span of the tree. Just after a few strides, all of a sudden, lightening struck the tree down to the ground right next to him. Yan Hui, scrambling to regain composure, sighed with disbelief “the master’s words just saved my life. Shall I be killing someone next, unintendedly, as well?? ..”
Yan Hui hurried home. It was dark when he arrived. Determined to not awake anyone unnecessarily, he pulled a sword out from the luggage to long-cane his way from the wife’s bedroom doorway, progressively, to the bed. Upon feeling the bed, he was shocked to discover that there were actually two people lying there! Yan Hui was enraged. He raised the sword with slaying intent, and yet again, Confucius’s words echoed “… nor kill without certainty”. He lit the lamp and realized that the second body on the bed was, indeed, his own sister. At dawn, he rushed back to the school he was so anxious to part from.
Locating Confucius, the disciple dropped to his knees in apology and asked “Master, your forewarning saved my wife, my sister and my own life. How could you have possibly known what was in store for me??”
Confucius helped Yan Hui up and said “yesterday, weather appeared susceptible to extreme conditions, so I reinforced a tactical safety measure. Your mind was clouded with disapproval and resentment, so I reminded you of our practice to presume no one guilty unless proven otherwise”.
Yan Hui bowed, “your master’s foresight resembles the resourcefulness of the gods. Admiration stands on the very core my foundation ..”.
Confucius therefore reminded Yan Hui “I know why you left, the motives were not straight forward. You resolved that natural deterioration had taken the normal toll, thus, a principle has been reduced to waywords. To unravel the repercussions, my disciple, deciding on mathematical premises, alone, although accurate, someone has to die for a merely one coin savings. While, should the ‘3X8 equals 23’ declaration be tolerated, someone loses a title and another loses a coin. Which verdict is worthy of our betterment?”
The disciple’s horizon was extended at that very moment. He dropped back to his knees and pled “you uphold moral obligations above inconsequential accuracy. I mistaken the ruling for fallacy of composition, and I wholeheartedly regret doing so ..”. Thus, from that moment on Yan Hui never strolled far from the master’s presence, regardless of the distance or terrain Confucius wished to travel.
A song from Iwe Kehrlein, a Taiwanese duo singer, goes “what good is winning the world over if I lose you? Sometimes we might win arguments over others with the rationalities that we create, but neglect the most important things”. Matters categorically weigh heavy, light, imperative, and dawdling. Debate, never for winning’s sake alone at all costs, because some may bring upon unintended consequences that last a lifetime. Many battles of ideas are not worth fighting. One step back, an ocean expands and a vast and beautiful sky is unveiled.
Disputing the customer, the customer always wins (you’ll feel the effect when new products hit the shelves!).
Disputing the “Tao Gae” (the owner), the Tao Gae always wins (you’ll feel the effect in the yearly performance evaluation).
Disputing the wife, the wife always wins (you’ll feel the effect when you get the silent treatment and a dinner table with no food).
Disputing the law, the law always wins (you’ll feel the effect with the summons citation on your door).
Disputing friends, even if you win the friends win eventually (you’ll feel the effect when you lose them).
Tea leave vibrant colors and tempting fragrances are invigorated by boiling water.
In Nature as in life there is a time and season for everything. Man has weathered storm after storm throughout history, thus we are left with the luxury of foretold precautionary tales that let us know we don’t have to win every argument or take advantage of every opportunity in a society where members are more than willing to confront each other over every little thing. Maintain composure, compromise whenever the opportunity presents itself, particularly when there’s common ground. After all, someone’s West is always someone else’s East; accuracy is a relative term. To each its own, one has a right to personal preferences. What matters in society is the majority opinion. Cast your say and call it a day.
Credit Syamrath Weekly Issue No. 24/2558; composed by Mr. Syamrath Suthanukul, Managing Director of SCG Logistics Management Co, Ltd. (Internal Communication)
Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics
Pictures by pixabay.com (account : Skitterphoto, bertvthul)