Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Confucian and/or Daoist magic (2)

The above list of the four Confucian books and five Chinese Classics complete the ingredients for some Confucian and/or Daoist magic.

Back in late 1995, one was appointed to coordinate the listing of a medium sized real property development cum construction group. Though the group had planned their public listing for a year or so, nothing much was done because of infighting between the various heads of departments. With the aim to heal the rift and unify the fractious relationships between these professionals, one pasted the list of books and classics in the middle franked by the two separate lists of the four cardinal virtues of Confucians and Daoists on the back wall of my office. Since most of the general managers and directors were of Chinese descent, perhaps they understood the message when they walked into my room for one to one discussions. Those who were educated in English and who liked to know more about the virtues were explained to when asked.

There was magic in the air when all the departmental heads agreed to work as a team and things got moving fast, in early 1996. With good staff motivation and potential benefits, team spirit was at an all time high. As the deadline neared for filing of the listing documents, we worked first 12 hours days, gradually moving up to an 18 hours workday including weekends. The beauty of it was few complained about the pressures of the workload.

The senior management including me and the merchant bankers worked almost 72 hours in the three days leading to the filing deadline. Of course everyone was exhausted by then. There was a rush to the Securities Commission that last day for filing. If we had missed the filing deadline that very day, we have to rush and file again with a further six months of audited accounts, which meant more work and deadlines.

Our chaps and the merchant banker reached the SC office by 8.30 pm because of heavy traffic. After I had parked the car by the road curb and walked over to them it was almost 9 pm. Just when I reached where they were standing, they gave out a sigh of relief and started giggling. They had been making frantic calls at the basement car park intercom hooked up to the SC office for almost half hour and a SC officer had picked up the phone and agreed to accept the application papers, the moment one stepped in.

Ha, the merchant banker exclaimed – "Wow that is magic!"

While Confucius had stated clearly in the Analects that he merely compiled the five classics for posterity, a number of Western scholars/authors somehow labeled them as Confucian. Just like James Legge, one often refers to these classics as Chinese since the texts and events existed before Confucius. The rest is up to those Daoist and Yi students in the West who have not read them because the classics were deemed Confucian. Perhaps these students do not realize what wisdoms they have missed by ignoring some of these classics.

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