Monday, February 22, 2010

Wen Tzu - Verse 154, Part I

So those who attain the Way of life will inevitably become great even if they are small; those who have the signs of morbidity will inevitably fail even if they are now successful. When a nation is moribund, greatness is not enough to depend on; but if the Way is carried out therein, even a small nation is not to be slighted.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
We live in a society that emphasizes largeness, grandeur, boldness and aggressiveness. We're told that only the strong survive and the weak perish. So, we're encouraged and browbeat always to try to surge to the top.

But a person or country's intrinsic worth is not based on overt attempts to increase one's size or power. Both are nothing more than transitory illusions. There will always be others who will make themselves appear bigger or stronger.

Virtue and humility are more in line with Tao. Thus, the person who appears weak is actually strong, the person who appears small actually is large and the person who knows how to yield is actually powerful.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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