They who rule people live in confusion;
They who are ruled by people live in sorrow.
Yao therefore desired
Neither to influence others
Nor to be influenced by them.
The way to get clear of confusion
And free of sorrow
Is to live with Tao
In the land of the great Void.
If a person is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with their own skiff,
Even though they be a bad-tempered person
They will not become very angry.
But if they see a person in the boat,
They will shout at the other to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, they will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty.
They would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.
The straight tree is the first to be cut down,
The spring of clear water is the first to be drained dry.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.
A wise man has said:
“Those who are content with themselves
Have done a worthless work.
Achievement is the beginning of failure.
Fame is the beginning of disgrace.”
Who can free themselves from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of humanity?
They will flow like Tao, unseen,
They will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple are they, without distinction.
To all appearances they are fools.
Their steps leave no trace. They have no power.
They achieve nothing, have no reputation.
Since they judge no one
No one judges them.
Such is the perfect person:
Their boat is empty.
Adapted from Charlie Ambler: https://www.thedailyzen.org/2015/05/27/the-empty-boat-by-chuang-tzu/.
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How are you emptying your boat today?
On this day 2018.
Celebrating a year of daily cartoons.