If I was compiling a manual for living, this chapter would be in it. You should read it, ALL of it.
The lines I’ll pull from here are more general, but great paradigm shifts of humility, simplicity, allowing everything to just be.
…like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
* * *
When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.
When you’re in the Tao, it’s easy to just do the thing that needs to be doing, you don’t need glory or to be doing the shiny stuff, you are content with the stuff others disdain due to lack of extrinsic reward. This doesn’t mean you have low self esteem and are happy to be crapped on or feel you are only worthy of the shitty work; quite the reverse in fact, you know yourself, you know your value, you know that doesn’t change no matter what you engage in. Humility isn’t about thinking you are less than other people, it’s simply being aware it isn’t possible to ever be above.
There is no comparing. “It’s all good” was a favourite line of a man I used to love, and it is, it really is.
When everything is connected and everything has its purpose and value, how can there be any competition, any higher or lower? When you do the grand things for glory, you will be admired for sure, but you will also be envied. Raising yourself high, those feeling lower than you will be hoping (maybe just a little) for your fall.
When you are content to just be yourself, do what it’s yours to do, grand or small, you nourish all things, yourself and those around you, and it ripples ever outward. The respect you earn from that may not be grand or shiny, may be slow in rising, but it’ll endure.