During my freshman year of college, I took a religious studies course. Growing up in a Christian and Jewish household, I was looking forward to learning about many other religions and cultures. One thing I really loved was studying Taoism and reading “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu. The entire book was incredibly uplifting and the photos added to the exquisiteness and simplicity of it. You can check out the version I read here. I tended to agree with a lot of the philosophies in Taoism. This doesn’t mean I didn’t disagree with some, but a great deal of them really opened my mind and inspired new ways of thinking. Many of the passages are still undoubtedly relevant today. I’ve decided to share one with you.
Practice non- action.
Work without doing.
Taste the tasteless.
Magnify the small, increase the few.
Reward bitterness with care.
See simplicity in the complicated.
Achieve greatness in small things.
In the universe the difficult things are done as though they were easy.
In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds.
The wise do not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieve greatness.
Easy promises make for little trust.
Taking things lightly results in great difficulty
Because the wise always confront difficulties,
They never experience them.
I really enjoyed this passage. I specifically loved the two quotes near the middle: “See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in small things.” I feel as if throughout life, people, including myself, tend to complicate situations. If we just went with the flow and relaxed, we would be able to reach simplicity. As for achieving greatness in small things, I tend to always want more than I have. However, I should be thankful for the small things and use them to an advantage. It could also mean that a great accomplishment almost always starts small. You have to gradually make it to the top and take things one step at a time.