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Sun Tzu and The Art of War – Still a Good Read

photo of african american man reading sun tzu

Sensational Saturday, classic books, Sun Tzu, The Art of War, modern women, lesson learned
photo credit: Beni Ishaque Luthor via photopin cc

There are some books that have been around and popular for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Sometimes, those books remain eerily relevant.

It is sensational to look at an old classic book and find a modern use for it.

There are thousands of books that make the list of classic treasures that students are forced to read throughout their educational careers. Some of those books stand the test of time and others do not. Some classics make me smile when I think of them, like The Communist Manifesto. Other classic books make me scream in disgust and wonder why educators choose to torture students; like the book Moby Dick. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is a classic book that has lessons to teach modern women.

The Art of War is a thirteen-volume book written, by Sun Tzu.

The book discussed the proper way to wage war and how leaders should conduct themselves on the battlefield.  At the beginning of almost every translation of The Art of War is the story of Sun Tzu and his methods convincing Ho Lu, King of Wu that his methods for conduct on the battlefield were good and would work on any group of soldiers in actual battle conditions.  The king had read Sun Tzu’s book and asked if Sun Tzu’s methods could be tested on 180 women living in the palace. These young women were put under Sun Tzu’s training methods and the results were so satisfying that Sun Tzu was put in charge of the king’s army and waged war on the king’s behalf.

Interestingly, many of the principles found in The Art of War are applicable to the modern woman at home and in the workplace.  It is not unusual for the modern woman to wage war on the local school board when advocating on behalf of her children. It is not unusual for a woman to attend a parent-teacher conference, a business project meeting, a church planning committee meeting and go to the supermarket all on the same day. It is important to note that each situation requires a different type of behavior. In order to be successful in each of these arenas the modern woman must identify the field upon which she finds herself and behave in a manner appropriate to the situation in order to achieve her desired outcome.

In the Art of War leaders are cautioned to:

  • plan
  • check out the situation being faced
  • maneuver with care
  • attack with proper preparation

These are all strategies that will help the modern woman handle her responsibilities with care, precision and appropriate tact. In order to juggle work and responsibilities at home, a woman must have a plan. She must be able to quickly and efficiently examine the situation in which she finds herself. When moving from one responsibility group to another a woman must be able to maneuver in and out of the various areas with grace and purposeful movement. Finally, when a woman must go on the attack, no matter if in a meeting at work or to protect the interests of her children at school, she must do so with proper preparation so that her efforts will be successful.

One thing that was particularly interesting to me about The Art of War was the amount of preparation, study, and self-development that needed to be undertaken by leaders. It would do the modern woman well to be continually vigilant and to continually seek out useful information about those with whom she comes in contact. It is a well-established principle that one should prepare for war in the time of peace. Additionally, a steady diet of self-improvement is healthy for every woman.

In conclusion, it is sensational to look at an old classic book and see that it still has lessons for the modern world. So, the question for you this sensational day is what old classic has taught you something recently?