Inspirational,  Reflections

Lao Tzu’s words

“It’s important to appear weak, as being strong will bring you down.

It’s important to appear unwise, than to pretend to be wise.”

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I was surprised when I heard these words, as they go against what we have been taught all along. We were taught since young to be strong, so that we may withstand all storms and turbulence in life.

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However, looking at nature itself, the tall strong trees are the ones uprooted in a hurricane, while the tender grasses remain unscathed.

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Being strong may bring you somewhere, but it’s by being weak (flexible) that will bring you far in life.

One interesting example is as we grow older, the strongest feature of our body in youth; teeth, lose their ability to continue their service, while the most flexible part; the tongue, stays and accompanies us throughout life. The teeth simply fall off, despite being strong.

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I think the weak here has a physical and a mental component to it. Physically, it simply means to be more flexible, as opposed to strong/inflexible. The mental component is appearing to not-know.

If you appear to know many things, you do not learn many things. When you appear to be strong, you will be given more than you can handle.

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For example, I have a colleague who complains to me about her workload. She says she is in-charge of too many things. However, she says, “What can I do? I will just keep quiet and do all that I can.”

She appears to be strong, however, that leads to the boss entrusting more tasks to her. And I can really tell that she’s breaking down due to the stress of meeting deadlines for so many things. The other day, she just cried after complaining to me during lunch.

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I told her, “Sometimes, it’s not good to be strong”. She just gave a chuckle and didn’t say more. I don’t know if she understood what I meant. I was afraid to seem like lecturing a superior, so I held back in explaining.

Well anyway, this is a teaching of Taoism.

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