“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies”― Napoleon Bonaparte
I recently discovered this quote and I love it. Just as it applied to the battles that Napoleon’s armies fought, it applies to how we live our lives each day. How we react to chaos, change or loss – anything that rocks our world- and how we choose to process it. It’s only when we rise above the chaos or challenges that we truly win the battles of life … and grow from it as a result.
Buddhist teachings have long taught the value of quieting the mind and experiencing the present amidst chaos.
Tibetan Buddhism describes three gates we must pass through or commitments we must make to help us embrace our moments of chaos as opportunities for growth:
1. Cause no harm: do our best to not cause harm with actions, words or thoughts (to commit to being good to each other).
2. Help others: do our best to keep our hearts and minds open, and nurture our compassion by giving to those in need.
3. Accept impermanence: do our best to embrace the world just as it is, without bias; try to see everything – good and bad – as a way to awaken further.
I will keep these commitments in mind the next time I have a lot on my plate and become ridiculously frustrated by the person in the bank drive-through who won’t commit to a lane (in case a different one opens up faster). And the next time I’m put on hold on the telephone listening to music and being redirected repeatedly. And the next time I judge anyone who doesn’t share my point of view or appreciate the same things that I do.
P.S. Did you know Napoleon was actually above average height for his time? Scientists say he was actually about 5’6, rather than just over 5′ as the compensatory complex has been explained. The average height for an 18th century Frenchman was 5’3″. He was perceived as short because he was most often seen with the Imperial Guard — his bodyguards who were above average height.
Nameste my peeps.