Difficult To Find An Enterprise

Towards the end of the Sui Dynasty, Li Shi-min and his father, Li Yuan, organised an uprising. They overthrew the Sui Dynasty and established the Tang Dynasty. Li Shi-min then ascended the throne and declared himself as the Emperor of Tang Dynasty. He was a wise emperor. Under his rule, the Tang Dynasty became one of the most prosperous and powerful dynasties in the history of China.

One day, the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty called up his ministers and asked, "Is it more difficult to found an empire or to maintain what has been achieved ?"

One of his ministers, Fang Xuan-ling, said, "In the early stages when your Majesty was fighting to establish the empire, there were many princes in control of various places. It was only after battles and battles that you were able to defeat them to unite the country. I, therefore, feel that it is more difficult to found an empire."

Then, another minister, Wei Zheng, joined in and said, "Since the ancient days, emperors and emperors have won victories and established their own dynasties after much difficulty and struggle. They have lost their empires because of their complacency and taking things easy. I would, therefore, submit that it is more difficult to maintain what has been achieved."

After listening to their views, the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty commented, "Fang Xuan-ling has been with me fighting battles after battles before the establishment of my empire. He is, therefore, right in saying that it is difficult to found an empire. Now that the Tang Dynasty has been founded, Wei Zheng has been assisting me in ruling the country. I also feet  that it is easy for a successful man to become conceited, complacent and extravagant. He may even become lazy and sluggish and take things easy. This will eventually lead to his downfall, I shall, therefore, draw the conclusion that while it is not easy to found an empire, neither is it easy to maintain what has been achieved."


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