Want to Be Famous One Day?

cc image by Marcus Vegas on Flickr

cc image by Marcus Vegas on Flickr

Reflections on Chapter 13 of the Tao Te Ching

Honor and disgrace both surprise us.

Great esteem brings trouble because one is bound to
their own sense of self-importance.
This is why honor and disgrace surprise us.

Gaining praise makes one fall –
To receive it feels like fear.
This is why honor and disgrace surprise us.

Trouble is caused by a strong sense of self.
Without a sense of self, what can trouble you?

Therefore, if one treasures themselves by servicing others,
One is able to hold the world in her hands.

Honor seems like such a good thing when you think about it. It’s a good thing to be honored, right? But when you look at how people respond when they are honored, there’s always a hesitancy around it. This hesitancy, to me, indicates that people both want it and don’t want it.

When I read this chapter, I thought about the movie stars in Hollywood. They are honored by the population. In the U.S., they are our royalty! Movie stars are an example of people that have been honored. I think that this honoring is a lot of the reason you find so many problems and drug use in the Hollywood scene. Inherently, they know that there is something not quite right. We are all equal. We are all honored. When someone gets put into that special place, there’s an imbalance and we strive for balance. It’s like the picture on the wall that is hanging crooked. We want it to be straight! When someone gets built up as a super-human being, we all feel a sense of something that is not quite right.

The same goes for disgrace. Disgrace is very difficult for us. It is painful to observe someone being disgraced because we go there in our minds. We can relate to the feeling of that. It’s very sad when you see someone disgraced. If you are the person disgracing someone, there is a sadness there too. It is just masked by anger, or whatever is going on. As a parent, I am sure that I have disgraced my daughter. Not meaning to, of course, but things happen sometimes. It is natural. It might just be that I am a bad parent, but it probably happens more often than you think. We would like to think that we would never disgrace someone, but it happens sometimes.

I was reading a post the other day about our self perception, and how our self perception is actually a little more positive than others perceive us sometimes. I think part of that is not wanting to face the disgrace of our own failure. Not wanting to really be in a place of failure. Being with our failure is like being disgraced.

We don’t really want to be in either position – honor or disgrace. I don’t know that I would really want to be famous. Part of me thinks that it would be fun, but another part of me thinks it would be a mess. People put you in that place when you are famous. People put famous people in a special place and then they remove themselves. It must be a very lonely place to be. I know that most people who are famous don’t ask for that. They do, just by being in those professions, but they don’t really think of themselves as above everybody else.  If they do, something is kind of odd with that. Generally, I think they see the falseness of that. I hope they do!

This whole chapter is to have you think about those two positions and think about your relationship with them.  How do you honor people? Do you honor people in such a way that you hold yourself respected? How do you deal with failure? If you have any stories to share about this, please feel free to tell us in the spaces below. We would love to hear from you.

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  1. I have to say that I relate with the resistance to both Honor and Disgrace. Honor is hard to accept and disgrace is hard to take. I went through a disgrace last year, and I still sometimes obsess over it. I guess it is human nature to want people to like you. As for Honor, I am working on accepting compliments and doing quite well, but am not sure how I would react to pure honor.
    Kelly recently posted…Stillness and the importance of napsMy Profile

  2. I felt the same way, Kelly. Why is it that we struggle over being wonderful and find it so easy to obsess over the things that go wrong in our lives? It should be the other way around. I think that the important thing to remember with honor is that it does not need to mean anything about you being better than anybody. I really think that is what makes it hard for people. Deep down, we all know that we are equal and it feels strange when people try and tip that balance. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I am not going to re-type everything I just lost. Hopefully it will turn up. I was closing with the last line of chapter 13.

    “If one treasures themselves by serving others, one is able to hold the world in her hands”.

    Honour and disgrace surprise us, because it challenges our EGO. ( as opposed to our true-self or our SOUL.)

    The ego doesn’t serve others. EGO only serves others if there’s a big PROFIT to be gained.
    Your soul (real-self) serves others, and invites others to participate.

    Kelly and Amy (and Greg) are beautiful souls. Their souls are with the TAO, or God.

    Greg (my spiritual self)
    – still struggles with my EGO a bit.

    • Thanks, Greg. I guess, in a way, we are all serving our SELVES since we are all one big self when it comes down to it. 🙂 We are all beautiful souls. Thanks for participating!

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