Do Nothing

And nothing will be left undone.

In ancient times, under the Heaven, in the land of Fu, , there was an exceptional king, much loved by his people. His name was Qiang Ming, 強 明. His country was in order and his people content. There was balance because all followed the Tao of Heaven and Earth.

However, somewhere in his country people were unhappy.  What was the reason for their unhappiness?

It had not rained for several weeks, and their crops laid parched, the green vegetables withered away, the brooks dried out and the fish had left.

People had very little to eat, only dried vegetables, smoked meat, nuts and rice. The king asked, “Are my people starving?” Messengers were sent to find the answer to his question.


Several weeks later, messengers arrived from the furthest reaches of his kingdom, telling the king about the confusion and helplessness of his people. It had not rained, and the people had only rice to eat. The king asked, “Are my people starving?”

This time he called his wise men, the counsellors, ministers and holy men and they discussed the matter. They all came up with different ideas.

The counsellors devised a promotional plan, which aimed at motivating people. After this, they suggested, to wait and hope for the best. Maybe they could be encouraged to rally and be distracted by a more significant looming threat, such as the raising of arms in the neighbouring country Hui,   by its wrathful King Li Pong, 力乓

The ministers developed an aid program, which would distribute food that was bought from the luckier neighbouring kingdoms. The establishment of a large organisation would be required, to generate the essential forms, needs assessments and list of procedures necessary to assure the correct and just allocation of goods.

The wise men suggested meditation and offerings to the gods so they would let it rain. They pointed out that, maybe, the gods had been angered because the people had excessively enjoyed a carefree life for too long, for, after all, only the gods are meant to live in everlasting happiness.

The king also listened to the laments of the local representatives and their overblown stories, which culminated in predictions of chaos. Their demands proposed the least constructive solutions. They were solely offered to demonstrate their own small personal importance.

All the advisors thought they had suggested good ideas, but the king preferred to continue to observe the situation and concluded to do nothing.


And what came about from his decision? Did all the people go hungry for a long time? Did they waste away and die of starvation? Was there malnutrition? No.

Once their storerooms were close to empty people began to work out new ways. Instead of relying on rain, they built dams and irrigation channels, they dug wells, and they planted their crops in the floodplains of the rivers.

For immediate relief from the food shortage, they asked for help from friends and relatives in the neighbouring areas who gladly gave. They went hunting in the forests rather than butchering life stock, which they needed in the future.

Since everything has a beginning and an end, the drought ended with a blissful steady rainfall. Celebrations and offerings to the gods happened all over the land. There was much cheering and happiness, and within a few weeks, all was back to normal and soon after, all was forgotten.


King Qian Ming, 強 明 was hailed for his wisdom, and all loved him. And in the land of Fu,  under the Heaven, harmony had entered again.


Wolfgang Köhler

07 December 2006heart chacra green blue purple orange low

Continue reading
Click here for publication page
Click here for site content
top of page