When the moon is fullest it begins to wane,
When it is darkest it begins to grow.—Chinese Proverb
There is a calm wisdom in this old saying that impressed me when I heard it first from a monk of a Buddhist monastery in China. It has often, helped me to retain a good measure of equanimity under stress and hardship as well as when some unexpected success or good luck might have made me too exuberant. There is hope and consolation in the sure knowledge that even the darkest hours of pains and troubles won‘t last: but also a warning against overrating the passing glories of wealth, power and great good fortune. A warning and a hope, not only for the individual, but also for governments,nations and their leaders, a brief summing up of all that history and human experience can tell us. And beyond all that we might hear in it an echo of the law and order that holds our universe in safe balance.