居安思危 – Chinese philosophy and culture

jū’ān-sīwēi 居安思危

Be on Alert Against Potential Danger When Living in Peace

处在安宁的环境中,要想到可能出现的危难。历代有抱负的统治者都希望国家长治久安,常常提醒自己不要沉湎于安逸享乐,而要勤于政事,励精图治,及时化解社会矛盾,防患于未然。这是一种长远、积极的忧患意识。它不仅成为历代有为的统治阶级时时警醒自己的治政理念,而且也成为现代企业经营的重要指导原则和一般民众积极进取的一种精神。

One should always be on alert against potential danger in time of peace. All ambitious rulers in history hoped to maintain enduring stability. They often reminded themselves not to indulge in pleasure and comfort, but to conduct diligent governance, work hard to make their country prosperous, and resolve social conflicts in a timely manner so as to prevent them from developing into crises. This keen awareness of potential danger was a quality of accomplished rulers in Chinese history. This notion has also become a principle for modern enterprise management, and been adopted by common people in their pursuit of progress.

引例 Citation:

◎若能思其所以危则安矣,思其所以乱则治矣,思其所以亡则存矣。(吴兢《贞观政要·刑法》)

(如果能思考为什么会有危险,国家就安全了;想到为什么会有战乱,国家就太平了;想到为什么会有覆亡,国家就能保存了。)

If one keeps thinking about danger that could emerge, then there can be safety; if one keeps reminding oneself of the possible outbreak of war, then there can be peace; if one keeps thinking about the possible fall of the nation, then the nation can be preserved. (Wu Jing: Important Political Affairs of the Zhenguan Reign)

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