He who holds to True Rightness does not lose the original form of his inborn nature. So for him joined things are not webbed toes, things forking off are not superfluous fingers, the long is never too much, the short is never too little. The duck's legs are short, but to stretch them out would worry him; the crane's legs are long, but to cut them down would make him sad. What is long by nature needs no cutting off; what is short by nature needs no stretching. That would be no way to get rid of worry. I wonder, then, if benevolence and righteousness are part of man's true form? Those benevolent men - how much worrying they do!It often takes each one of us a good deal of our lives to learn to accept ourselves AS we are. When we're younger, we try so hard to fit in, to make ourselves acceptable to a particular group or society at large. We may twist ourselves in knots trying to be who and what we are not.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
More often than not, as we near the end of the road, we realize the folly in this. For me, it's one of the reasons infants and the elderly are alike. They see no need to put on airs for anybody. They are who they are and if you don't like it, tough!
To view the Index page for this series, go here.