“Seeking favor is degrading: alarming when it is gotten, alarming when it is lost.”
(From A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being Experiencing the Tao Te Ching)
Case in point the public and tragic implosion of Charlie Sheen… but I digress…
Suffice it to say that one of the many reasons (not excuses) for my long hiatus from this endeavor was the message of this passage. Why am I writing this blog if not for at least a smidgen of a desire to receive favor? I would be lying if I said I didn’t want people to read my blog and maybe even admire or dislike or approve or disapprove of the words and the author behind them. I would be dishonest if I said I don’t check my stats, pour over my comments or get a bit of a thrill the one time WordPress highlighted an entry of mine. I would be a prevaricator of the worst order if I hid the fact that I have nudged a friend or two on occasion for some feedback (a.k.a. praise).
So what brings me back? A number of things. Firstly is the reason I started this in the first place which was for the discipline of writing every day coupled with the deep conviction that the Tao Te Ching contains truths that I want to spend every day discovering. What better time to bring discipline back into my life than the season of Lent? Ironic, some may propose, that the liturgical exercise of self-sacrifice and reflection to prepare one’s heart for Holy Week commemorating the Passion of the Christ would drive me back to the Tao but there you have it. And finally, the purpose of my life is to give whatever I have away. It is my deepest desire is to live at purpose. So. I’m fairly adept at a turn of phrase so I choose to allow the words to flow like a river without concern about whose car may have just driven into my puddle. (Sorry Bob, couldn’t resist.)
Oh, and I’m not allowed to watch TV in the evening until I’ve written the day’s entry. Thank God for DVR’s.
“The more you think about your own self, the more self-centered you are, the more trouble even small problems can create in your mind. The stronger your sense of ‘I’, the narrower the scope of your thinking becomes; then even small obstacles become unbearable. On the other hand, if you concern yourself mainly with others, the broader your thinking becomes, and life’s inevitable difficulties disturb you less.” ~ The Dalai Lama
“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” ~ John Wooden