Learning from the Philosophy of Water


Progress Namibia - Learning from the Philosophy of Water
20 March 2018

Listening to Raymond Tang's Ted Talk the other day and was inspired to share the lessons he learnt from the ancient Chines philosophy of the Tao Te Ching. The poem he read out stuck with me:

'The supreme goodness is like water.
It benefits all things without contention.
In dwelling, it stays grounded.
In being, it flows to depths.
In expression, it is honest.
In confrontation, it stays gentle.
In governance, it does not control.
In action, it aligns to timing.

It is content with its nature,
and therefore, cannot be faulted.'
Tao Te Chin - Passage 8

Water helps plants grow, and keep animals alive. It brings life, joy. It does not require any reward or recognition. But without water's humble contribution, life would not exist. Faced with an obstacle, somehow water finds a solution. Without force, without conflict. Water is in harmony. Water is open to change. Depending on the temperature, it can be a solid, liquid or gas. It has survived for billions of years. Depending on the medium, it can turn into a vase, a glass, a puddle, a river. What if you lived in humility, instead of striving for success, you strive for harmony; what if you were open to change?

Nowadays, whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a deep breath, and ask: 'What would water do?'