April 20


Today's quotation:

Clay is fashioned into vessels; it is on their empty hollowness that their use depends.  Doors and windows are cut out to make a dwelling, and on the empty space within, its use depends.  Thus, while the existence of things may be good, it is the non-existence in them that makes them serviceable.

Lao Tzu

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I forget to slow down and think about things more clearly.  I often forget to appreciate what people aren't as well as what they are.  I know someone who's very self-serving and unreliable, which can be a major annoyance.  But on the other hand, this person isn't rude, isn't argumentative, doesn't abuse alcohol or drugs, doesn't have an abusive personality. . . . and the list goes on.  What this person isn't--but easily could be--far outweighs the supposed "negative" traits that I see.

Even more frustrating to me is my tendency to want to see people fill their empty spaces.  This person should be more giving and should focus more on others, I think, but that thought is simply me trying to determine what another human being should be--and it doesn't work that way.  If generosity is one of this person's "empty spaces," then that's the way it is, and I don't have the right to judge him or her on that fact.  Perhaps this person will be the most generous person in the world five years from now, but he or she just hasn't learned the necessary lessons yet.

This world is a marvelous, magical place.  So much of what it gives us is absence and emptiness, because it knows just how important those two things are.  Socially, we tend to want to do, to fill our time and to judge things and people based on what's there, and not on what's not there.  If we were to judge a coffee cup that way, we'd be upset that there's so much empty, "wasted" space inside the cup.  But the cup itself has been crafted to create that empty space, for it's that empty space that makes it a cup.

Questions to consider:

What are some of your own most important empty spaces?

How can we learn to see and appreciate the empty spaces in things and people?

What are some of the problems we may face if we neglect to see these empty spaces?

For further thought:

Things are only worth what you make them worth.




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