The Dao in Action
In this collection of fables, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming shares the stories that have influenced him most as a martial artist and lifelong student of the Dao. They bring the Dao to life for readers of all generations. Whoever we are, wherever we’re going, these short tales help us along the path—the Way. Some offer the traveler a moral compass. Some illustrate the dangers in human folly. Others just make us laugh. The Dao in Action will inspire young readers to refine their character. Older readers will smile and recognize moments of truth. This collection is for anyone who would like to explore the enduring lessons of martial wisdom. Fables entertain us, enlighten us, and guide us. We recognize ourselves in the characters, be they emperors, village girls, or singing frogs. They help us see our own weaknesses, strengths, and possibilities. Their lessons transcend time and culture, touching what it really means to be alive. For example, in life we must ask questions, learn from others, and find our place in the world. On the other hand, there is real danger in worrying too much about what others think. This lesson is clear—and very humorous—in the story “A Donkey, a Father, and a Son.” We must help others and give of ourselves, but we must also guard against those who would take advantage of us, as in “The Wolf, the Scholar, and the Old Man.” We should save our money and plan for the future, but we must also resist greed, lest we end up “A Rich Man in Jail.” These lean, concise fables illustrate that balance, the duality of yin and yang, always shifting, always in correction. They help us laugh at our human predicaments—and maybe even at ourselves.
- 2019 Jwing-Ming Yang
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