“He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them,” said Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist. Several centuries later, Confucius expressed the same thought, in a less martial context, when he wrote, “If a person takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”
The past continues to accumulate and we are filled with the anticipation of tomorrow. We live in the present but know that this present was once yesterday’s future.
Sometimes the best preparation is to wait quietly, letting things unfold in their own way. We can’t control everything, so watchful waiting may be the right course. This is the unanxious presence that can live with the flow. Here forethought is one thought too many.
In other times and circumstances, forethought is required. Preparation is practice, anticipation and making the right choices so that the future can be one of fulfillment and flourishing.
When our ethical values become part of our fiber, we prepare for better relations with those we love. When imagining ourselves leading fair, kind, loving and decent lives, the kind of life we wish we would someday have is more likely to become a reality. We not only have prepared for that day but have coaxed it into being.