Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Palace

Classic fairy tales often celebrates the case where every kingdom has a King, a Queen, a very beautiful Princess and a handsome Prince.

Sometimes there are villains pictured in the stories who try to ruin the Kingdom's peace. These black sheeps could be in the form of step-mothers, step-sisters, witches and so on. But eventually all of them were eliminated from the casts. Then the tales' endings will portray the enviable romance between the beautiful Princess and the handsome Prince.

They fall in love, get married and have cute little princesses and princes. King and Queen rule the kingdom peacefully and all of the royalties live happily ever after.


Back to Earth, little had people, or rather normal little girls, known that in every Kingdom, usually there was a King or Emperor, a Queen, eunuchs and a harem of imperial concubines.

The Emperor was the sovereign ruler of the empire or in simple words, he was the leader of the empire.

The Queen was the female equivalent of the King, often she indicated the wife of the King and possessed almost the same power as the King in the empire.

Eunuchs were the castrated men, employed by the Emperor and some served inside the Imperial Palace. They symbolized loyalty and political power. Some of them reported to the concubines or often called as the Harem staff but many grew as the most trusted person of the Emperor, valuable advisers to the Emperor and politically powerful. They gained immense power that occasionally superseded that of Prime Ministers. Often, they represented a clash of ideologies or political agenda within the empire.

Concubines were the beautiful and intelligent women of lower social status of the official wife of the King and with whom the King shared his bed. Some rulers maintained both wives and a harem of concubines. The King's favorite could rise herself to the supreme rank in the Harem.

Rationale and Translation:

Few days ago, I was invited to a dinner by a friend. He shared a lot about his dark-jungle survival manuals and other worldly philosophies. At present he works in a place where he often experiences tears than joy, a total contrary of his previous workplaces. From the outer-skin, his current workplace seems like a garden, full of beautiful flowers. But behind the flowers and the green leaves, the place is full of snakes and they do bite.

He has been working in this place for the past 6 to 7 years. He claimed that often he feels pressurized by the job and the bitter politics within his company. He cries. But to date he endures in the company for the longest time because of the principle he deeply applies, that he is never a quitter. He says that he would only quit the job when he himself realizes that he would not be able to add value to the company again. As long as he is still able to leave marks and grow flowers in the garden no matter how threatening the snakes inside the gardens, he would stay there.

Philosophically the old system within the Palace works the same as in the modern work place, anywhere and anytime. There are a lot of envious eunuchs and concubines trying to gain the King's trust.

He advised me that in order to survive in a politically-incorrect Empire, one must find a way to be the King's favorite concubine. Not as the eunuch nor just one of the other concubines, but the best one. One whom the King loves the most. The King loves her. The Queen herself might like her too, if not, the Queen herself would not be able to do much harm on her due to the King's favor.

Eunuchs will always be there. Wicked and politically powerful. Some would feel threatened by the concubine's position in front of the King's eyes and try to destroy her position. But eunuchs cannot do much. The concubine might be in the position where politics wise she can't go any higher, but she is real safe. She can stay in the Empire for a long time and maintains her low profile position. She can always shine and gain trust from the King subtlety. She can always get the King's supports in everything that she does and he always watches over her behind her back.

There is no point fighting the eunuchs and bluntly serving their political wars. The best way is to keep quiet and/or gain the King's trust and love quietly.

** Images are randomly taken from internet source.

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