Caring for the Caregiver: The Essence of Warriorship

Dr. Phyllis Quinlan
Dr. Phyllis Quinlan

Lessons Learned from the ancient book of wisdom; The Toa Te Ching: Verse Sixty-Eight

The great generals are not warlike
The great warriors do not get angry
Those who are good at defeating enemies do not engage them
Those who are good at managing people lower themselves
It is called the virtue of non-contention
It is called the power of managing people
It is called being harmonious with Heaven
The ultimate principle of the ancients

 Lao Tzu


In his landmark work The Sacred Path of the Warrior Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche laid down a guideline for anyone wanting to reject violence and aggression for living in and interacting with the world through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. He teaches that it is possible to discover the basic goodness of human life and radiate that goodness out into the world for the peace and sanity of others. However, that decision to work for a peaceful coexistence requires relentless fearlessness thus accounting for his term warrior.

Rinpoche wrote “The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything. We can never say that we are simply falling to pieces or that anyone else is. We can never say that about the world either.” The sixty-eighth verse of the Tao Te Ching is rich with the same incredible wisdom. The greatest leaders/warriors choose to build coalitions not dynasties. Their bravery is measured in their ability to let go of the illusion of control and embrace interdependence, team work and collaboration. They do not ask others to compromise but search for the win-win solution through the art of negotiation. They are unshakeable in their belief that what happens to one happens to us all.

This is not an easy option. One walks this path knowing that it will be littered with setbacks and failures. This choice was never intended to be easy. Rather, it is intended to shape your character. Search deep within yourself and find the courage to make this choice and never look back.


Respectfully submitted by:

Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC
718 661 4981



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