Archive for August, 2018
I’ve been feeling stressed and like nothing is going my way because my job at Home Health Marketing was getting nowhere. I used to have at least 12 patients a month, and now I didn’t even have a quarter of those numbers. Some months, I had no patients at all. I was trying to look for another job, and my friend suggested auditioning as an extra instead of for parts. As an actor, we can go months with no auditions, so I tried to go online to find jobs as an extra, but there was nothing either. I feel like God was testing my patience and my endurance.
No matter where I looked, I felt that I was in a box with nowhere to go. No matter how hard I pushed against the walls or try to break them, they were solid, and I couldn’t move them. I only hurt my hands trying to do so. In the end, I just sat down with tears on my face. I’ve never felt so hopeless or helpless. I wanted to shout, but I didn’t even have the voice for it. I wanted to cry, and I still couldn’t speak, but tears started pouring. I just wanted a job. I didn’t ask for much, so why was it so hard?
These thoughts consumed my energy, like acid dissolving at whatever I was hanging onto. Eventually, I decided to give up. I put my head down for a while. All of a sudden, I saw a light on the ground. I looked up, and sure enough, above me, there was no ceiling. The box was open all along. It looked like someone was coming down with a rope to get me out of there. I felt like I was lifted out of it. With that light, I gained strength.
I decided that I would visit a doctor as part of my job. When I went in, the receptionist told me that she had sent me a patient a few days ago. I didn’t know that because my office hadn’t told me. Suddenly I was filled with energy, and I had a smile on my way out of the doctor’s office. While I was driving, I got a phone call from my acting agent. Her voice was full of excitement. She said that I got a callback. I thought, “That was a miracle, how could I get a callback so fast when I had only auditioned an hour ago?” She said that this was even better – this was for a movie I had submitted a tape for. I was more than excited; I was exuberant. It was so difficult to get callbacks for movie productions because they would try to get the best people from all over the country. I stopped my car and opened my sunroof, looking up at the blue sky. I told myself, “Get out of the box. Stay out of the box.”
Look up, and the box will not constrain you.
As long as I’m outside of it, the walls of the box can’t cave in on me. Yes, I can look up, and I will be lifted there. I will gain my freedom and my hope. I will achieve anything.
As I finished writing this article, all of a sudden I was reminded of a quote from the author of the novel The Moon and Sixpence, explaining the title of his book: “If you look on the ground in search of a sixpence, you don’t look up, and so miss the moon.”
Through the title of the book, the author, W. Somerset Maugham, transforms the words “dream” and “reality” into the image of the moon. Yes, indeed, if we do not look up, we will miss the moon – our dream which may one day be realized.
The Sage has no decided opinions and feelings,
But regards the people’s opinions and feelings as his own.
The good ones I declare good;
The bad ones I also declare good.
That is the goodness of Virtue.
The honest ones I believe;
The liars I also believe;
That is the faith of Virtue.
The Sage dwells in the world peacefully, harmoniously.
The people of the world are brought into a community of heart,
And the Sage regards them all as his own children.
(Translation by Lin Yutang )
The image ifs from Gurmeet.Net
What should rulers do? Lao Tzu gives a clear idea here. It seems simple, but it is not easy to carry out.
Rulers are leaders with power, and power corrupts them. The more power they possess, the more corrupt they become. The power of the ancient emperors is beyond our imagination. They have the power to kill, extort, and do whatever they want. Finding noncorrupted rulers are rare. As a result, Lao Tzu wrote this article on the vigilance of the power of rulers. Whoever gains the support of the people will prosper, and whoever loses their support will perish.
As an Asian, I know that we have a habit of giving cash as a wedding or birthday gift. I am no exception. I prefer to give some money because I do not have time to buy a gift from a shop. I also know that whatever presents I pick may not necessarily be what they like.
I have done the cash as a gift thing for many years now. So for my son-in-law’s birthday, I did the same, of course. Rushing out of freeway, I went in the bank a couple of minutes before closing time. I told the cashier that I needed two brand new one hundred bills as a gift.
I saw him take out two hundred dollar bills and lay them on the table. Suddenly, I heard the noise from the counting machine, and he took out a stack of bills. It was a lot, maybe over hundred of them. I was surprised and worried that he mistakenly thought I withdrew a lot. Softly, I reminded him that all I needed were two, but he just smiled at me and examined this stack of hundred dollar bills. He looked at each, and after a moment I could tell that he was picking the best and newest ones. Finally, he pulled two bills, looking satisfied.
Standing there, I was amazed by his action. It was just two bills, but he went the extra mile to find me the best ones from the stack. What a warm feeling he gave me. He may never know this, but his attitude has inspired me to do the same for the others. That is, to treat others from the heart and always go an extra mile to help them.
The student of knowledge (aims at) learning day by day;
The student of Tao (aims at) losing day by day.
By continual losing
One reaches doing nothing (laissez-faire).
He who conquers the world often does so by doing nothing.
When one is compelled to do something,
The world is already beyond his conquering.
(Translation by Lin Yutang)
By learning day by day, your knowledge will increase day by day.
On the other hand, those who seek and practice the Tao will reduce greed and delusion of the heart day by day until there is none and they will reach the state of doing-nothing.
Having arrived at this point of non-action, there is nothing which he does not do.
Letting things take their course is the way to rule the world. That is to do nothing. If the rulers try to tamper with it and they interfere with nature, they are not fit to conquer the world.