September 14


Today's quotation:

In this world there is nothing softer or thinner than water.  But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal.  That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle-- this everyone knows, yet no one acts accordingly.


Today's Meditation:

One of the most powerful drills in the world consists of water being shot out of a small hole at extremely high pressure.  This drill can penetrate materials that regular drill bits made out of metal couldn't come close to getting through.  And it's just water-- the same stuff that we swim through and bathe in.  Yet it can go straight through a foot of cast iron; it can pierce granite and other types of stone.

Our vision of water has to do with the limitations of our perspective.  Lao-Tzu wasn't talking about water drills, of course, for they hadn't yet been invented when he was alive.  Rather, he was talking about the ability of water to carve out Grand Canyons, to change boulders into grains of sand, to change coastlines, all through its great perseverance.  Water in rivers and seas just keeps doing what it does, without thought of results or whether or not it's able to do what it's doing-- it just keeps on keeping on, and there may be no visible results of its work for years or decades, but it is very effective at what it does.

If we know what's right, we can continue to do that, no matter whether or not we see any visible results of our work.  As long as we're doing what we do with a clear conscience and the knowledge that we're doing good works, we can continue to do them without worrying about the end product of our efforts.  Even if our efforts seem to be overshadowed or overwhelmed by the negative efforts of others, we can be sure that we're contributing to the long-term efforts that eventually will ensure that the effects of good acts will be seen in this world of ours.

Questions to consider:

Do you ever get frustrated when you don't see results of the things that you try to accomplish?  Where does that frustration come from?

How might we go about letting go of the need or desire to see results?

Is it possible to keep going without ever seeing any results at all?

For further thought:
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins-- not through strength but by perseverance.
H. Jackson Brown

more thoughts and ideas on strength



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