Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sung Chiang: General of Generals - Why?

Exerpt from the HR Volume 7 - The oath of suiko.

The members finished one volume after another of 'The Tale of Suiko.' Finally they came to the scene in which Sung chiang, the centreal figure, comes to the fortress of Shui Hu (Suiko) and is installed by the people as their head.
"Now, about this man Sung Chiang. He was nothing but a minor local official, but here he is, respected by all the tough fellows as their leader. Can anyone explain the reason for this?"Toda asked the members with a smile....
...One answer followed anohter. Each man frankly expressed his own view as it had occured to him....
...The discussion became more and more abstract and aesthetic. Everyone admitted that Sung Chiang was a very attractive human being but no one could discover specifically from where his charm derived. When the young men had finished talking, Toda began to give a deeper analysis of Sung Chiang's personality.
"Sung Chiang was a man of medium build and dark-complexion, combining all the appearances of the inferior local officials of whom he was one. In other words, he was an ordinary person. He was never popular with women. He had no outstanding talent either in literary or military arts. He was devoted to his parents, honest and faithful to the moral code, and these were about the only virtues he possesed. This world abounds with men like Sung Chiang.
...In other words, he was mediocre. Why then was he one of the Chinese heroes of his day? anyone would be mystified by this...
...In outward appearance Sung Chiang was a featureless man, but he was equipped with a marvelous ability to throughly read the characters of other people. He had a keen insight for discovering talent in whomever he met - he heartily loved that talent and respected it."
Toda's analysis came as quite a surprise to the youth. They stared at Toda in wonder.
"Sung Chiang saw the good as well as the bad in others. No devious strategy works in the presence of one who knows your strengths and weaknesses. So, it all boils down to the saying "A virtuous man is ready to die for one who appreciates him.' It is no accident that Sung Chiang was installed as the head of Lian Shan Po. Nothing pleases a soldier more than to meet one who appreciates him. Nothing gives him greater purpose. Not everyone can see both the strengths and the weakness in another person and still appreciate him. Sung Chiang could. This is the reason he was looked up to as a general of generals. As long as you acquire another's favor by force of authority, money, position, or learning, you remain merely a general over privates. When you have developed the unerring ability to judge and appreciate other people, you will have become a general of generals."

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