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Cao Cao created his own opportunity

Posted June. 15, 2021 07:22,   

Updated June. 15, 2021 07:22


The best villain in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is arguably Dong Zhuo. After seizing control of the capital Luoyang, Dong Zhuo had his cavalry to loot the palace, the rich in the capital, and neighboring cities. This infuriated Wang Yun, prompting him to form an alliance with Cao Cao in a plot to remove Dong Zhuo. Carrying the Seven Star Sword he borrowed from Wang Yun, Cao Cao entered Dong Zhuo’s bed room to assassinate him. However, as soon as Cao Cao drew the sword, Dong Zhuo awoke from his nap. Cao Cao quickly pretended to present the sword to Dong Zhuo as a gift and left Luoyang. This is one of the best scenes in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Of course, this is not entirely true. Cao Cao disguised himself and escaped Luoyang for sure, but for another reason.

Cao Cao seemed to have sensed animosity towards the Dong Zhuo regime that was preval‎ent throughout the country. Cao Cao thought if a rebellion took place, governor-generals would lead the movement since they had already turned against the warlord. His future rivals, including Yuan Shao had already prepared for a battle with governor-generals. On the other hand, Cao Cao was doing nothing in Luoyang. A train for a rebellion was about to depart soon but Cao Cao was not qualified to board the train.

In such circumstances, most people lament their misfortune. But Cao Cao was different. He came back to the city where his clan was residing and gathered a force, barely enough to take control of a county. However, he was not afraid and rose in rebellion. Then, governor-generals from all over the country responded. Cao Cao, who could not board the train for rebellion, became a locomotive himself, turning into a leading figure in the Three Kingdoms era, as we know it. Although Cao Cao did a lot of things morally reprehensible, he was quicker than anyone else in making decisions and taking action. Sometimes he rushed into decisions and faced a crisis as a result, but got out of a crisis and overcame losses by taking a quick action instead of regretting what he did.

Looking back on my life, I had those days when I saw a passing train and felt sad, thinking, “There is no seat for me on that train.” Would that train have stopped in front of me someday if I had kept waiting? I probably would still be standing there, waiting for that train to come.