Do you only wear the latest designer clothes? Do you eat gourmet meals? Drive luxury cars and keep staff to do your chores? Even if you are rich and can afford these things, your life is extravagant and history says that’s not a good thing.
Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin said ‘Through reviewing the past sages, families and nations, one can find out that success comes from diligence and thrift, while failure is due to extravagance’.
Leaders must especially control their desires and not compromise the interests and wellbeing of their people to satisfy themselves. We all know leaders, from the past and from today, who indulge in luxury while their people are poor and starving.
The philosopher Laozi, in TGPOAC, explained that if leaders don’t have excessive desires then the atmosphere of their society will naturally return to simplicity and honesty.
In this lecture Professor Liu outlines guidance from TGPOAC to get an extravagant life back on track. She covers timeless principles for cultivating self and governing a nation including the Four Anchors, Eight Virtues, The Five Relationships and The Five Constant Virtues.