A letter from disciple David in Cheltenham, who was mystified by the ancient philosophy emanating from Moray County in the North of Scotland:
I wonder if you could help. I noticed in the advertisement placed by The Moray Council in the 6 September issue that: “The Chinese curse has never been more true in local government”. Do you know what this curse is, and how it can be avoided?
Fortunately, ancient Chinese philosophy is a pet subject of Guru’s since considerable evidence arose recently to show he was a direct descendent of Confucius – or Kong Qiu-zi as he was otherwise known (there’s one for the pub quiz).
The Chinese curse to which Moray refers is: “May he live in interesting times”. The weird thing is there is no record of this coming from Chinese philosophy and the best guess so far has it originating in a 1950s sci-fi film. There’s also the issue of whether or not this amounts to discrimination as no women appear to be included. As to the question of avoiding the curse, then being boring and avoiding challenges seems the straightforward answer. We modern-day philosophers refer to this counter-curse as the Mediocrity Dilemma.
Funnily enough, Confucius was something of a latter-day HR professional himself. His teachings were based on rites, righteousness, relationships and benevolence towards others.
Finally, you will probably be questioning the ‘considerable evidence’ linking one of the greatest philosophers of all time to Confucius. In reply, Guru would like to quote the Great Man himself from the Confucian Analects: “Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”. Roughly translated, this reads: “Mind your own business”.