Lao Tsu – Tao Te Ching

I struggle with the idea of inaction. Letting things stand. Finding the strength to endure and not directly confront injustices in the moment.

And because I feel compelled to respond to almost every moment of my life, I’m kept from considering the core motivation behind my actions, as I oftentimes act out of fear.

Fear that I’ll be taken as a fool if I let a transgression stand. Or fear that I’ll be perceived as weak for not fighting back.

Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching presents a series of eighty poems that again and again remind me that this desire driving my actions is often directing me towards my own folly.

The path Lao Tsu recommends is one of virtuous inaction. I can’t count the amount of times Lao Tsu suggests doing nothing, thinking nothing, draining your desires, emptying your cup and accepting the world as it passes around you.

Not as you fear it might be, or as you fear it might see you.

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My Combative Brain

I notice that I occasionally wake with a combative mindset.

Those aren’t my best mornings. Not at first. At first I fight everything. Every thought, every person, every action, every stumble.

My brain chooses to take offense. Finds holes, pokes.

Identifying these mornings as early as possible in the cycle can help in defusing them.

I find that I can identify my moody1 mindset pretty quickly. Usually within 15 minutes of waking up, I can figure out if every thought entering my mind slants negative.

After identifying it, I can begin reconciling each thought by recognizing that it isn’t me presenting these ideas. I’ve learned to see that not every thought in my head originates within me.

When I’m in this state, I often have to remind myself that jerks will continue to exist out there, but I don’t also have to be one today.

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Mister Paul’s Blame Pudding

It is foolish to prioritize verbal communication. But, it seems our words take center stage, while we disregard information delivered through a glance, gesture or maybe even arson.

I present Rand Paul’s recent spat with his neighbor.

Mr. Paul suffered five broken ribs when his neighbor tackled him to the ground while Paul was mowing his lawn. This sounds shocking! What could have spurred this violent, unprovoked attack on a sitting U.S. Senator?

Sticks. Piles of sticks.

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