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Taoism is about how we perceive the world around us and what we can learn from what we see. It is not a religion nor a belief system.
This story/verse is from the The Way of Chuang Tzu (translated/interpreted by Thomas Merton). These verses were designed to stimulate insights, considerations and encourage further contemplation.
The meaning will deepen as your capacity to understand grows:
If a man steps on a stranger’s foot
In the marketplace,
He makes a polite apology
And offers an explanation:
“This place is so crowded.”
If an elder brother
Steps on his younger brother’s foot
He says, “Sorry.”
And that is that.
If a parent steps on his child’s foot
Nothing is said at all.
The greatest politeness
Is free from all formality.
Perfect conduct is free of concern.
Perfect wisdom is unplanned.
Perfect love is without demonstrations.
Perfect sincerity offers no guarantee.
apologies duke fighting flight monkey ruler seabird tree win
18 March 1997
Last updated 20 December 2020