Largeness of Spirit

Flourish through hard times

Towards the end of the epic Musashi, Hon’ami Kōetsu (an aesthete and cultural icon to this day) is recounting some of the history of the Kongō-ji temple.

Centuries earlier the Emperor was driven from his palace and took refuge in the Kongō-ji. Kōetsu reads a poem from that time

Though the war goes on,
Even for a hundred years,
Spring will return.
Live with a song in your hearts,
You, the Emperor’s people.

Kōetsu continues

“Think of the bravery, the largeness of spirit it took for a simple soldier, after fighting for years … to be able to rejoice and sing."

Our modern callings may be more humble than laying down one’s life for the Emperor, but to have a largeness of spirit is a worthy aspiration.

In any leadership position there are periods of tremendous stress, risks of disaster and ever imminent catastrophe. But if we are keeping firm to our beliefs we can weather hard times, even thrive through them, by virtue of making ourselves larger than the current troubles.