11.28

Chapter: The Nine Situations 11.28
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Translation:

On the day they are ordered out to battle, your soldiers may weep, those sitting up bedewing their garments, and those lying down letting the tears run down their cheeks. But let them once be brought to bay, and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei.

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Commentary

Children are often shocked by the prospect of having to earn their living only on the last day of school.

People who lose their jobs when a times get tough are often surprised, even though it it is clear redundancy is coming.

Soldiers likewise may be horrified by the sudden realization that within a day they may be dead. The shock may well bring tears and it is good idea to let them weep away their terror.

Yet, the next day, children become adults and those who lose their jobs get on with their lives. And soldiers, faced with death in all directions, step up to the mark and fight like heroes.

In fact soldiers inculcated in the psychology of honor would rather die than be thought a coward. They fight for the person next to them, for their platoon, for their regiment. And to avoid at all costs the specter of dishonor.