the proper foundation of human communities

a superior person

 

A healthy family,

a healthy country, a healthy world —

all grow outward from a

single superior

person.

 

The hexagram Chia Jen concerns the proper foundation of human communities. The I Ching teaches that all clans must have a superior person at their center if they are to prosper and succeed. Therefore, in order to improve our family, company, nation, or world community, we must begin by improving ourselves.

If you will observe healthy families you will always see present in them three qualities: love, faithfulness, and correctness. When we truly love others, we are naturally kind, gentle, and patient with them. When we are faithful to others, we place proper principles and conduct above temporary influences like anger, desire, or greed. And when we practice correctness, we spiritually nourish ourselves and all those around us. When all three qualities are cultivated, a healthy clan springs naturally into being.

The difference between paying lip service to these ideals and practicing them is profound. If you advocate high ideals and actions to others but do not embody them yourself, your influence will disintegrate for lack of a proper foundation. Therefore, in order to inspire superior qualities in others, you must first instill them in yourself.

Concentrate not upon influencing others or external events but upon strengthening your inner devotion to proper principles. When modesty, acceptance, equanimity, and gentleness become deeply ingrained in your character, they will flow steadily out from from you.

Soon you will find yourself enmeshed in a web of healthy relationships, and in this there is great good fortune.
 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 37, Chia Jén / The Family (The Clan)

 

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