Your Job as a Human Being

Reflections on Chapter 51 of the Tao Te Ching:

From Tao, all things are born.

Virtue nourishes all things,
matter shapes them,
circumstances complete them.

Tao and virtue do not command respect,
yet the Ten Thousand Things
naturally give it.

All living things come from Tao.

Virtue nurtures all things,
raises them,
protects them,
prepares them,
supports them
and shelters them.

Tao produces life
yet does not own life.

Tao benefits life,
without attachment.

Fostering growth without dominion
is our deepest secret virtue.

Virtue nourishes life.

To me, this chapter talks about parenting. It is so important to let go, to let people in your life do what they need to do. Fostering growth without dominion. With growth, it is one thing to have your ideas of how things should be. You have ideas of how this person should carry out their life, or what is right or wrong about what they should be doing. That is not what they are talking about here.

Virtue nourishes all paths.

You have a path. You have your way of doing something and I have my way of doing something and virtue says whatever path you are drawn to is good. You have your lessons to learn. We can’t know what other people’s lessons are. They may have something that they are drawn to do that is completely different from how we would do it. We have to let it be. It is their choice. It is their life. We need to let them make their choices. I certainly have a hard time with that with my parenting. I definitely have times when I struggle with that. I know that this is the right way to do things and you need to do it this way!

You can know that something is wrong,
but every part of you just has to do it.

That is when you wonder if there is a bigger lesson there. I think we all have enough on our plates to take care of what’s ours. Each one of us has a lot on our plates in terms of what we’ve come to this lifetime to learn and we don’t have time to be messing around with what other people have come to this lifetime to learn! Honestly! It is not valuable to us to do that.

Our job is to love each other.

Our job is to just love people. Love and accept, that is our job. Our job with ourselves is to love and accept ourselves and to learn our lessons. Only with ourselves. Our job is not to learn other people’s lessons and do them for them! lol… But to learn for ourselves and enjoy that learning. Enjoy it and really get it! It is so incredible!

Even the ugliest things you may come across in this lifetime
have some very powerful lessons for you.

Very deep and very powerful. You just can’t know what someone else’s lessons are, and you can’t judge based on that. When you recognize that, when you understand that you can’t judge their karmic path it makes it hard to be upset with people’s way of being. You just can’t. You just think, “What do I know?” I don’t know anything. I don’t know why they’ve been brought here to make those choices and do those things.

All I know is what is there for me.
What are my lessons in this?

How can I learn from this? What can I bring forth and be as a model? How can I live my life in such a way that when people observe me that I can give them the gift of what I have done for myself? I can give them the gift of showing them how I can take care of myself and how this has helped me. That is all I can do.

When you do it with virtue and not as a lofty attitude, with an attitude that you are not my job, people will learn from you. You will be the best teacher that way. You will teach people through your modeling. We all will make mistakes. As I am writing these essays, I am looking at my life and I am full of mistakes! I have so many that sometimes it is hard to keep track of them all.

But I understand that my role is just to work on myself.

It’s OK. It’s all OK. The mistakes that I have made are the mistakes that I have made and it’s alright because this is how I have learned to love myself and to accept myself. As I do that, I stand powerfully as a human being, as a mother, as a woman, as a co-worker, as a lover, as a friend.  I stand powerfully in all those ways!

I am looking my mistakes straight in the eye
and I am saying that I am OK right now.

Just like this, mistakes and all. When you see that, you see that it’s true. You see that for you and you know that it is true. You know the voice that tells you that it is not true is the critic. It is just the blabbering on critic and that voice is not you. That voice does not belong to you, so you don’t need to listen anymore. You are free.


So what do you think? Please add your comments below and share with us. If you like this post, please use the sharing buttons at the top right to let your friends know!



  1. People really don’t get life really is all about you. Others are here to assist your growth and soul evolution so you can become the Love that is all there is.
    Ali Bierman recently posted…Relationships: Why I Help People Create Amazing RelationshipsMy Profile

  2. I agree that my first thought when reading the passage was that it really was a direct reflection of the ideal form of parenting! I also think it applies nicely for fostering lasting relationships in general. I always thought that I was here to help others with their journey at the same time as moving along my path and simply sharing with others. Great post!
    Emily recently posted…Health Benefits of Lemon WaterMy Profile

  3. I believe it’s a gift to help others “on their way back home”. I also believe it’s a gift to receive help from others “on my way back home”. I am just scratching the surface of my life and I find it exciting to understand that Love is…really all there is!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge