Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.Why is it that we like to make a big show out of whatever we do? It's because we desire the accolades without having to put forth the needed discipline and effort! If we can convince others (and ourselves) that we are doing what is "right" for the situation without actually having to do it to its fullest extent, then we pat ourselves on the back for pulling a the wool over people's eyes.
~ King James version ~
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieved greatness.
~ from Verse 63 of the Tao Te Ching ~
The sage doesn't worry about accolades or outside appearances. By doing simply what needs to be done and then retiring, she embodies what it means to be virtuous.
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