Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another Day in the Rat Race

“The world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity.”

- The opening words of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms

The one constant thing we can look forward to in life is change.

The Japanese technology giant that I work for has decided to spin off the semiconductor division (my division) into a separate company. From the way they are organizing this new company it will not only be easy to sell off, but to break pieces off to sell piecemeal.

This rat has noticed an ice berg clearly in our path going forward and has found a new ship; with a promotion, and more money.

It’s another Japanese company. I can still put my fledging Japanese Language skills to some use. They are a lot more stable, having their genesis from a joint venture/spin off several years ago. They’ve made it and have achieved the critical mass in the market I serve to garner future success.

The local office is a much larger operation than the one I left. At a previous job I worked very closely for several years with the director for whom I’ll be working now.

It’s all good. I am enjoying basking in the warmth of this good fortune … for now. I have been dragged around the block enough times to know that I should bask in every atom of this good fortune because as sure as yin follows yang, these good times aren’t going to last forever.

At some point, the Universe is going to say to itself “I haven’t messed with Matz for a while,” and decide to have a few laughs at my expense.

I’ve quoted the Old Farmer Story many times on this blog, and it is certainly appropriate here. If you click on the title of this post, you’ll be directed to many versions of this story, with links that will lead you to perhaps find your own wild horses.

A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune. Sei Weng said simply, "That's the way it is."

A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune. He said, "That's the way it is."

Some time later, Sei Weng's only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng's misfortune. Sei Weng again said, "That's the way it is."

Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng's lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed as Sei Weng's good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, "That's the way it is."

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