[Letters] An auspicious year
In most Western countries, the lion’s size and strength has earned it the title “king of the beasts.” But in Eastern cultures, the regal feline scepter goes to the tiger. In Asia, the tiger is fearsome and handsome, fascinating and terrifying, aggressive and impressive. Small wonder then, that the tiger is the third animal on the Chinese Zodiac calendar.
The tiger is such an inspiring and noble creature, Asian folklore is replete with tall tales of tigers as either arch villains or priceless trophies. Thus, heroes are made of those who either defeat this formidable foe or capture the ultimate prize - the menacing and majestic tiger. In fact, according the Dangun legend (2333 B.C.), Whan-ung, the Son of Heaven granted the wish of a tiger and a bear to become humans. The resulting beast-man transformation later produced an offspring, Gojoseon, the grandson of heaven. He is credited for founding the first Korean dynasty - Gojoseon.
In most cultures, the tiger is both feared and revered. The tiger’s stealthy hunting tactics has been a source of inspiration for kung fu masters, practitioners and students. Also, the intriguing mystique of this prominent predator has provided the Chinese military a powerful, symbolic emblem. As such, the tiger’s intimidating persona underscores the Chinese’s military aims to instill fear in the hearts of enemies, and assure victory on the battlefield.
As the mouse creeps back onto the cyclical calendar, and the tiger takes the stage, it is fitting to ponder our prospects under the reign of this wily wildcat.
The purveyors of Zodiac predictions suggest that this tiger year could be both auspicious and tempestuous. It could be especially challenging for those born under the auspice of the tiger.
The tiger exudes power, passion and regal qualities. So the character traits of “tiger tykes” are said to be as enigmatic as the clever carnivore. In their corporate world, “tiger pros” can be cunning and cautious, confident and competitive, dynamic and optimistic
In their relationships, “tiger chums” are at once charming and charismatic, stouthearted and tenderhearted. They also possess the innate ability to disarm their enemies, outwit competitors and become the voice of reason amidst contentious parties. And like the beastly creature, “tiger lovers” also have the capacity for both tenderness and ferociousness.
So in a year imbued with the aura of expectancy and uncertainty, “tiger tykes” can either rise to the occasion or become overwhelmed with the waves of unprecedented changes. Those who have the knack for adaptability and flexibility can thrive and prosper even in a topsy-turvy world. This seems to suggest that the next twelve months will be most auspicious for those born under the tiger symbol.
But what about the rest of us; are we slated to be swept away by the tide of insecurity and instability? Certainly not! Reality teaches us that one’s birth month or year has more to do with divine providence, and little to do with planetary forces or the zodiac calendar.
Thomas Jefferson’s affirmation that “all men are created equal,” is a fitting reminder that no month or calendar year has any power over our destiny. Every person is endowed with the capacity to learn, plan, make logical and well-timed decisions. Time and chance happens to all of us. And those who seize the opportune moment to capitalize on their good fortune will invariably have a favorable shot at meaningful accomplishments and prosperity.
Though privileged birth and a lucky set of circumstances may afford certain advantages, no one has a perpetual patent on success. Fate does not discriminate nor play favoritism. Destiny rewards creativity, enterprise and ingenuity.
Every person has the wherewithal to be industrious, inventive and productive. Those who set realistic goals, and pursue them with fervor and persistence will succeed in due time. This is equally true for “tiger tykes” as well as any other person born in any other year. By matching our efforts with our potential, we too can beat incredible odds, surmount impassible obstacles and gain the advantage over any competitor. That means even an ordinary person born under any other animal sign can also have an auspicious year.
Carlton U. Forbes, teacher, Kwanghyewon Middle School, Jincheon County, North Chungcheong