Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 23, Part 13

Trey Smith

He who concentrates upon the internal does deeds that bring no fame. He who concentrates upon the external sets his mind upon the hoarding of goods. He who does deeds that bring no fame is forever the possessor of light. He who sets his mind upon the hoarding of goods is a mere merchant. To other men's eyes he seems to be straining on tiptoe in his greed, yet he thinks himself a splendid fellow. If a man goes along with things to the end, then things will come to him. But if he sets up barriers against things, then he cannot find room enough even for himself, much less for others. He who can find no room for others lacks fellow feeling, and to him who lacks fellow feeling, all men are strangers. There is no weapon more deadly than the will - even Mo-yeh is inferior to it. There are no enemies greater than the yin and yang - because nowhere between heaven and earth can you escape from them. It is not that the yin and yang deliberately do you evil - it is your own mind that makes them act so.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
It is so much easier to focus on the foibles of others. We can rant and rave about their shortcomings. We can express disgust or indignation. But we rarely have the influence or power to cause the perceived changes to take hold.

We do possess the power to change one person: ourselves. That takes work and, let's face it, most of us are lazy! So, we focus on the external and allow the internal to languish.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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