11 November 2014

Be content with what you have




It was Lao - tzu the person who said: "Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you".

Nowadays it is almost impossible to stay away from materialistic ideas. To have the newest mobile phone, another pair of trousers, a new car, a bigger house, a white table, or any other thing has become the main temporary goal in millions of people all over the world. Once they have obtained it, another one will stay in their minds until they get it, and so on.   Companies do their best to create on us a need that we did not have before, and once we have it, we think we cannot live without it.


Obviously, we live in the XXI century and lots of things have changed in the world since Tao-tzu lived. Nowadays, we can't imagine a world without international organizations collecting money, food, medicines and the like to help people all over the world. However, his words focus on the idea that we should look for simplicity in our lives in order to find truth and freedom.


He is also thought to have said: "Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".The main idea is that humans can obtain respect by doing their best "to fish" rather that accepting "fish" as charity. Tao-tzu also points at the importance in understanding the laws of nature to develop intuition and build personal power in an attempt to live a live full of love and sense.


Tradition says that he was so sad by the things he saw around  that he left civilization and went to the desert on the back of a buffalo. As he approached the Great Wall gate, the gatekeeper urged him to stay and write his beliefs for future generations.


The 81 chapters of what we know now as the Tao-te--ching is one of the most translated texts after the Bible. Besides, some of his best quotations can be easily found in management textbooks.


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