The Art of War continues to inspire many centuries after its distribution. You do not necessarily have to intend war or conflict to benefit from its lessons. Indeed, sometimes the best way to avoid conflict altogether is to understand the triggers that can lead to its initiation. Often, one of the best paths to peace is to live in greater awareness of the dynamic nature of situations.
I read Sun Tzu decades ago and had forgotten most of it. Recently, I looked into it again after encountering a documentary on Sun Tzu in the context of historical engagements. What I found the most useful in Sun Tzu’s work (the written translations) is the indirect, but compelling case he makes for planning. The value of preparation, presence of mind, multi-level analysis of environments, and putting knowledge to practice is convincingly presented. Doing things only when purpose is relevant.
Can you be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove? Well, that is a tough question to answer as reality in geo-politics, world history, and the occasional dilemmas individuals face. Yet, it is probably worthwhile to try for a better path. Sun Tzu is instructional on the processes and perspective along the journey to unite the best thoughts with the best outcomes.