The mature person accepts his situation and doesn’t desire anything outside of it. If he finds himself rich and honored, he acts as a rich man should act; if he is poor, he acts as a poor man should act; if he is among barbarians, he acts as a barbarian should act. Life can present him with no situation in which he isn’t master of himself.
In high position, he doesn’t domineer over his subordinates; in a low position, he doesn’t fawn on his superiors. He makes sure that his own conduct is correct and seeks nothing from others; thus he is never disappointed. He has no complaints against heaven and no blame towards other people.
Therefore the mature person lives in perfect serenity, awaiting the decrees of heaven, while the unworthy person walks on the edge of danger, always trying to keep one step ahead of his fate.
Confucius said, “In the archer there is a resemblance to the mature person. When he misses the bull”s-eye, he turns and seeks the reason for his failure in himself.”
Tzu-Ssu (483-402 B.C.E.)