Today we talk about finding natural abundance and abolishing the grading system in school.
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Today's reading is from chapter 79 of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching from the translation of Jonathan Star:
[…] Being content with what you have is always best in the end. The sage always assumes the debt as if holding the left side of a contract. He gives and gives, and wants nothing in return. One with true virtue always seeks a way to give. One who lacks true virtue always seeks a way to get. To the giver comes the fullness of life; to the taker just an empty hand […]
What does it mean to be content with what you have? On the surface it's a message about materialism. But in the context it's more than that. It's where we're at right now. Who we are. It's easy for us to find things about ourselves to be uncomfortable with. But he's right. It's always best to operate from a place of being okay with who we are. That doesn't mean we ignore our flaws. That doesn't mean we don't strive for self improvement. But self acceptance allows us to deal with the awareness of our flaws appropriately. To understand they're merely one part of who we are, our experience. And as long as we're human and alive, we'll always be able to find aspects of ourselves to work on. But if we accept that, rather than being overwhelmed by them, we can confront our flaws with a knowing smile.
When we embody self acceptance in our day to day lives, we operate from a place of natural abundance. Giving comes naturally, because we have so much to give. And because of that, we don't need or want anything in return. This is not the same as letting people walk all over us. This is not the same as always saying yes. This is proactively looking for ways to give on the terms we identify are productive for us and the change we seek to make in the world.
The alternative, is to focus on what we want. To not think about our own inner demons, but to project them onto the world around us, always fighting and grasping. Hurting the people around us because of our selfishness.
It's a choice. And the more we can understand and accept ourselves, the easier it is to make the right one.
Uplifting News and Quote of the Day
Our uplifting news also features our quote of the day, from Education Minister Ong Ye Kung of Singapore:
“I know that ‘coming in first or second’, in class or level, has traditionally been a proud recognition of a student’s achievement. But removing these indicators is for a good reason, so that the child understands from young that learning is not a competition, but a self-discipline they need to master for life."
Singapore has abolished school exam rankings to teach students that learning is a self discipline. Self acceptance is a form of learning that takes a lot of discipline. And if we're always focused on other people, we're never going to get there. The journey upward is inward. And if we want to make progress, we have to be focused on the correct things to see it.