A timeless classic, Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” was considered to be the greatest military leadership text of its time. Its popularity, however, continues on even in the modern day because of its unique approach to dealing with conflict. This is a masterpiece from which each reader is able to gain insight on a very personal level and is a must-read for everyone, regardless of what field or position you’re in. Reading this book has imparted on me a great deal of knowledge and for that I feel moved to write a thank you letter to its ancient author.
Dear Sun Tzu,
Over the course of history, military leaders and politicians have named your book as a key component in their achievement of success. But even today, minus the war setting that you originally penned it in, it continues to make an impact on the lives of the individuals who read it. I have my own personal copy and even if I must have read it several times already, I find myself picking up the book to peruse through it over and over again.
I believe that your concept of conflict still rings true today. It may be minus the swords and the weapons of battle but the competition between people remains fierce, perhaps even more so than during the time your wrote it. While now we no longer fight to conquer lands we still experience the struggle in order to master our jobs and attain success.
I think there is much peace to be found in reading your book. While the title may not make it seem that way, the idea that I got from you about abandoning aggression in the face of conflict is something that has made me feel more at ease in difficult situations. It certainly has helped me become more patient in trying situations by always looking at the bigger picture. I hope this thank you letter expresses my thanks enough.
Some of my friends have criticized the book saying that it’s a manual for deception but I don’t see it that way. For me, more than giving me ideas on how to control the “enemy”, I see it more as instruction on how to control my own outbursts and impulses, squelch my fear of the uncertain, and how to attain success with my pride and dignity still intact.
This thank you letter may be centuries too late for you to appreciate but with all the valuable lessons I’ve learned from your creation I can’t help but feel it is only natural to express my gratitude.