365 Days for Travelers: Sep 20

BIOGRAPHY OF GAO ZU (EXCERPT)

At a banquet inside his Yangnan Palace, Emperor
Gaozu of Han said, “My dukes and generals, I
know that none of you dare conceal your thoughts
from me, and that you always tell the truth. So tell
me the reason that I have won the war, and why
Xiang Yu has lost?”

Gao Qi and Wang Ling replied, “My lord, you are
proud and you insult people, while Xiang Yu was
benevolent and loving towards them. However,
after you conquer cities and plunder lands, you
give your fighters their proper rewards and share
all profits with your subjects. Xiang Yu on the
other hand, begrudges the eminent and is
jealous of the capable. Thus, he sabotages those
who are meritorious, and is suspicious of those
who are reputable. When victorious, he withholds
merits and keeps conquered lands to himself.
For this reason, he has lost.”

Emperor Gaozu then said, “You only see one part,
but not the entire picture. When it comes to
mapping out a strategy from within a tent to win
a battle that is a thousand miles away, I cannot
compare to Zi Fang. When it comes to guarding
the kingdom, pacifying the people, rewarding the
army, and sustaining food resources, I am
nowhere near Xiao He. In creating an alliance army
of a million warriors which is always victorious in
its conquers, I am no match to Han Xin. The
abovementioned are all heroes, but I am able to
command them. For this reason, I have conquered
the world. On the other hand, although Xiang Yu
had Fan Zheng, he nevertheless failed to employ
him. For this reason, he has become my captive.”