A Deceptively Simple Answer

I woke up thinking about the world we now live in and wondered “how did we get here?” Then I picked up my copy of the Tao Te Ching and read verse 52 which includes the following:

The more restrictions, the more poverty

The more weapons, the more fear in the land

The more cleverness, the more strange events

The more laws, the more law breakers

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Health insurance, mass shootings and gun control, global warming, Trump, Sessions, Manafort, Flynn, etc.

2500 years ago Lao Tzu got it. Our problems aren’t new.

He is talking about greed, power, and ego. He’s talking about leaders who approach their job with self-interest. He’s talking about individuals, communities and cultures that fall into the trap of believing there’s not enough to go around, that it’s a zero sum game, and that there are winners and losers – so everyone is looking out for themselves.

It’s particularly corrosive today because this mentality has infected out leaders.

Lao Tzu’s answer? Well the next few lines capture it. It’s simple – though not easy – and a call to action for all of us. And it’s not about changing the politics. It’s about changing ourselves. If enough of us do that, the culture and politics will follow.

Act with a pure heart and people will be transformed

Love your own life and people will be uplifted

Give without conditions and people will prosper

Want nothing and people will find everything

Remember to love and eventually we will, love will, win.

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