Office samurai?

In his famous book Hagakure (“In The Shafow of Leaves”), also known as The Book of the Samurai, the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo records his views on bushido, the warrior code of the samurai.

Perhaps the best quote from the book that reveals the essence of the way of the samurai is the following:

The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the way of the samurai.

Can such philosophy be really practiced in the 21st century? How about the approach below?

The way of the office samurai is found in dismissal (getting fired). Meditation on possible dismissal should be performed daily. Think of a dismissal when waking up; think of it when falling asleep. Only after losing the fear of losing your job shall you straighten your career path. There is no dishonor in getting fired. Cowardly people fuss over their workplace, while an office samurai has a path, not a place. You shall follow the path determinately and dispassionately.

It’s a joke of course, but in every joke there’s only part of the joke, isn’t there? 🙂


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