As part of my daily reflections, meditation and path inwards, I decided to read the Tao Te Ching. This short book, comprised of just 81 verses, is considered by many scholars to be the wisest book ever written. The Tao Te Ching was authored by a Chinese prophet named Lao-tzu some 25 centuries ago; however, I would not consider the Tao Te Ching to be a religious book. Containing spiritual observations rather than religious mandates, the Tao Te Ching invites me to think about life in a different way.
Verse 17 seems most appropriate today, given the continuing, and perhaps widening, division in the United States. I offer it for your reflection.
With the greatest leader above them,
people barely know one exists.
Next comes one whom they love and praise,
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy.
When a leader trusts no one,
No one trusts him.
The great leader speaks little.
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say,
“We did it ourselves.”