When Sun Tzu wrote his Art of War book in 512 BCE, he had no idea it would survive 2529 years later, much less be read, studied, and applied by countless leaders from countries all across the globe.
Whether pacifying an upset teenager, managing a billion-dollar corporation, or preventing terrorist attacks, it would seem every practical situation could benefit from Sun Tzu's strategic lessons.
Since 1999, Sonshi.com has been at the forefront of the application of Sun Tzu's principles by individuals, organizations, and nations. The path we took during the last 18 years has been challenging to say the least, but not without significant successes.
Next week, on August 12, is the date the domain name Sonshi.com was registered. It is the date of "the start."
When I registered Sonshi.com, it was simply to share my excitement about Sun Tzu's Art of War with others on this new platform called the World Wide Web. The Sonshi name came from General Samuel Griffith's translation where he discusses the legendary Minamoto Yoshitsune, one of Japan's most famous strategists. When Yoshitsune was young, the monks in charge of his education could barely make him sit still -- except when Sonshi was read to him. Then he was all attention. I was that young Yoshitsune.
Legend would also have it that after being betrayed by his allies, Minamoto Yoshitsune sailed to mainland Asia and emerged as none other than Genghis Khan.
Likewise, Sun Tzu's philosophy sailed to distant shores while still remaining useful and relevant over the centuries, bridging both time and space. Sun Tzu has not only defeated the Grim Reaper but has made a friend of Father Time.
So what ageless secrets would Sun Tzu share in the next 2,529 years? There is no need to wait. They aren't secrets at all, but open wisdom that can be learned and implemented today by those who are in need. Sun Tzu would serve as a good friend indeed and in deed.
Quintus Ennius wrote [3rd century BCE]: 'Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur.' This translates from the Latin as 'a sure friend is known when in difficulty.'
In the 16th century the proverb was recorded as follows in John Heywood's A Dialogue Conteynyng Prouerbes and Epigrammes, 1562:
'Prove [that is, test] thy friend ere [before] thou have need; but, in-deed
A friend is never known till a man have need.
Before I had need, my most present foes
Seemed my most friends; but thus the world goes.'
Thomas Huynh, founder