Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Golf Writer Channels Laozi

Trey Smith

Kyle Porter writes about the game of golf for CBS Sports. In a recent column, he wrote about the difficulties of being Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy. Everything these two world renowned golfers do is scrutinized to the max. Every word or deed is over analyzed and written about ad nauseam. Unlike you or me, neither bloke can go to the corner store or local pub and not be mobbed by autograph seekers and gawkers. Yes, both have more money than most of us could ever dream of, but the tradeoff is that they live their lives in a fish bowl.

At one point, Porter made a comment that could just as easily have been pulled from the Daodejing or the Zhuangzi. He wrote,
I value the normalcy that comes with being anonymous.
In several passages of the Daodejing, Laozi makes much the same point. The sage is not a celebrity; he/she is an anonymous person of virtue. The sage doesn't seek to call attention to themselves; the sage leads a simple life that, as expressed in Verse 49, is confusing to the world. The sage avoids extremes and excesses (Verse 29). In a manner of speaking, the sage IS a sage because the sage is anonymous and being anonymous lends itself well to leading a life of simplicity, humility, virtuousness...and normalcy.

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