Reflections on Chapter 61 of the Tao Te Ching:
A great nation is like a river delta,
the meeting point of the world –
the world’s mother.
The mother overcomes through peace.
In order to gain peace,
she takes the low ground.
Similarly, the great nation
takes the low position with smaller nations
and wins them over.
The smaller nation takes the low position
and wins over the great nation.
nations can take the low position and win.
The great nation wants to unite the people.
The smaller nation want to serve the people.
It is fitting that great things
should take the low ground.
The mother often takes the low position.
Ever notice that? Women do this naturally. If you look around at your relationships, the ones that work, you are holding this principle. You want the other person to win. You want to win, but you want the other person to win and sometimes wanting them to win takes over wanting yourself to win. I am not talking about a submissive position here. There is a difference between a low position and a submissive position. A person in the low position can be very powerful, whereas a submissive person is giving up their power. Big difference.
In the U.S., our culture is very much about winning.
It is a common practice to be taught that you must win, always. It is taught in our schools and on our playing fields. In sports, winning is everything. People gather in front of huge televisions with their friends to watch their favorite team squash the competition and we love it. When they lose, people throw stuff and get upset.
This competitive necessity isn’t just for sports. In our business environment, salespeople are “hunting down prospects” and “generating suspects”. What kind of relationship does that make with our clients? Did you really “make a killing” when you won that sale, bought that blouse on special or beat our your favorite team in a football game?
We could stand for a shift in thinking here.
I can see that this is happening. There is a movement of people changing their lives because they want to give more of what they are passionate about. People like Danielle LaPorte, Michele Bergh, Chris Guillebeau, Chris Brogan, Leo Babauta, Tynan, Julien Smith, Pamela Slim, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus and many more are out there promoting a lifestyle of giving back and really searching for what matters.
A true leader helps their followers to evolve.
A true leader doesn’t really want followers. A true leaders wants partners. She wants people to join her on a path of excellence so that everyone can make the world a better place together. You just don’t get that from stepping on someone to get to the top. You get there by lending a hand downwards to someone who needs it. That is the low position we are talking about here.
Is this Utopia?
Perhaps. I have read so much about this world being our own creation. We create our own reality, right? Why not Utopia? Why not have us all get along and help each other? This is a natural pattern of how we want to be. It works! We’ve seen it, in bits and pieces. If you haven’t read, The Kin of Ata, go get yourself a copy. It is a great book about a man who lived for himself. Then he somehow stumbled upon a world where just they didn’t live like that. The way the people of this other place accepted him, just as he was, and brought him in and helped him to see a better way to live is very beautiful.
Why are we so fearful?
Why are our planet’s military personnel so focused on fighting? Is this really necessary? How about a shift in focus on how we can help each other? Let’s change our focus from fear based to love based. This is not a weak position. Love is incredibly powerful. It is not weak. If you are kind to a friend and you support them, you are stronger because when you need help they are there for you as well. This is the natural way.
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