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In these dark days of misery, it is often pleasant to hear a story that has a happy ending. For me, such an event came to pass this morning.  No, I did not win the lottery. In fact, it would have been strange had I done so as I never take a ticket. No, my happy ending came because a lovely lady, very close to me and my family won a battle by following the wisdom of Sun Tzu. 

Sun Tzu was a Chinese military strategist, philosopher, and author of "The Art of War," an influential work on military strategy and tactics. Little is known about his life, and even the exact dates of his birth and death are uncertain, though he is believed to have lived during the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China, around the 6th century BC.

He wrote a book called " The Art of War. " 


"The Art of War" is considered one of the most enduring classics on the subject of military strategy and warfare. It is composed of 13 chapters, each addressing different aspects of warfare, including strategy, tactics, espionage, and the importance of flexibility and adaptability. Sun Tzu's teachings emphasise the importance of understanding both oneself and one's enemy in order to achieve victory with the least amount of conflict and resources expended.

Sun Tzu's principles have been applied not only in military contexts but also in various fields such as business, politics, and sports. His emphasis on strategic planning, deception, and understanding the terrain of conflict has made "The Art of War" a timeless guide for achieving success in competitive endeavours.

So how did his work influence a woman in modern times and inspire me to write an article? 

Well, as is often the case in my articles, it started with a cup of tea, a chat at Redheads, a family friend and a little bit of nostalgia. 

The three of us sat down to have a chat and we discovered that our young ( coming up 50) friend had troubles on her work front. It appeared that two fellow female co workers were fighting it out for the key position at their place of work. Each knew that to garner support they would need my visitor's support. What should she do? She had counsel from others who advised her to pick the strongest side. 

I asked her " do you agree with either woman?" 

" No " she replied. 

" What is the prize? " I asked. 

" The top job " she replied. 

I stopped, thought and considered.  And that was when I remembered Sun Tzu. How he said that all wars are won or lost before they are ever fought.

"It is more important to outthink your enemy, than to outfight him" ~ Sun Tzu

" In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. " 

" The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. "

We discussed how President Trump used the teachings of Sun Tzu in his presidency; we talked about how women use each other to win points in fights and how taking sides in disputes can often end in disaster. Trump's emphasis on unpredictability, negotiation tactics, and the use of leverage could be seen as aligning with Sun Tzu's emphasis on deception, strategic maneuvering, and understanding the psychology of one's opponents.

Sometimes, staying on the edge of a problem and watching our opponents " fight it out " can be far more beneficial than heading into the scrum and getting your head kicked in. 

Which brings me to a friend from a long time ago who taught me about the benefits of staying on the edge " of a stir. " 

He was a lovely young man ( he taught me to drive - something I have written about and must share with you again some time ) and was always fondly regarded as the best fellow one could ever meet. He never got involved in controversy and always maintained friendships with all he knew. 

Quotation Sun Tzu Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems 90 53 21

While others plotted and schemed, he would always stand back, watch and wait until the battle was fought and won. Yet, even then, he never declared his hand. Never said who he had supported or how he felt. He had the perfect personna to be a diplomat: not showing his hand and never gambling on a hand that someone else held. 

This is where countries like Australia get it wrong. We have picked sides. In doing so, we are destined to become the losers and the two main adversaries will not care a jot when we fall because we have become a victim in the crossfire. 


Which leads me to my next person of interest in this tale. My Uncle. Not the one who held court and told me about the virtues of the pub lunch or the cheese and pineapple burger... the other one. ) 

Now, this Uncle was full of wisdom of a different kind. 

A lady once came to him for advice. She had inherited some money. Should she invest it in a business that she was looking at? He said " Are you prepared to lose your money?  If you are, buy the business. If you aren't then do not buy the business. " 

It always stayed with me. Every time I make a decision, I try to think " am I prepared to lose by this decision? " 

If only, once again, our politicians would think in this way. How much have we lost because of the folly from people like our woke politicians? Our terrible decisions relating to electricity supply, energy resources, foreign policy and so called aid to foreign countries? 

Much like the police officer who fronts up to the door in a domestic violence situation. .... the two opponents will invariably unite to rage in harmony against the " intruder. " 

If a battle cannot be won do not fight it.

And so it was that we shared our heartfelt belief that being the diplomat and staying out of the scrum was the most prudent course of action. 

Quotation Sun Tzu The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy 54 81 48

It was Sun Tzu who said " never interrupt your enemy when he is destroying himself. " 

The two adversaries, who had sought, unsuccessfully, to involve my friend in their power struggle, ended up self imploding. Their hatred of one another became so destructive that their allies abandoned them. And all, the while my friend stayed on the edge of the stir and went about her business. 

"Swift as the wind. Quiet as the forest. Conquer like the fire. Steady as the mountain" ~ Sun Tzu

We need only look at what happens in politics around the globe to see examples of ill-thought-out campaigns where buying favours and votes, allegiance and support have backfired on a grand scale. 

The ending? Well, my friend got the job. Her two opponents were destroyed by their own campaigns. 

The moral of the story? 

Don't risk what you are not prepared to lose. Don't enter a fight that is not yours.  Save your energy for YOUR fight because, if you use your energy to fight someone else's battle, you will be too weak to fight your own. And, at the end of the day, she won without taking up arms and simply letting the enemy destroy each other. 

"The greatest victory is that which requires no battle." ~ Sun Tzu

 As my family have often said " There is a lesson to be learned here. " How I wish our leaders would take time out to read history instead of attending Taylor Swift Concerts. 

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