The Tao of Friendship

” Avoid those who believe they are stronger than you, because they are actually concealing their own fragility.

Stay close to those who are not afraid to be vulnerable, because they have confidence in themselves and know that, at some point in our lives, we all stumble; they do not interpret this as a sign of weakness, but of humanity.

Avoid those who seek friends in order to maintain a certain social status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to approach.

Stay close to those who are interested in opening only one important door: the door to your heart. They will never invade your soul without your consent or shoot a deadly arrow through that open door.

Friendship is like a river; it flows around rocks, adapts itself to valleys and mountains, occasionally turns into a pool until the hollow in the ground is full and it can continue on its way.
Just as the river never forgets that its goal is the sea, so friendship never forgets that its only reason for existing is to love other people.”

– Paulo Coelho ( Manuscript found in Accra)

come home

He who stands on tiptoe 

doesn’t stand firm.

He who rushes ahead 

doesn’t go far.

He who tries to shine 

dims his own light.

He who defines himself

can’t know who he really is.

He who has power over others 

can’t empower himself.

He who clings to his work 

will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao,

just do your job, then let go.
— Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)

A weak macho man

” It is a strange thing, I think, how it is men in the West do not realize how much softness is strength. One of old Lao-tzu’s favorite analogies was water. He spoke of water as the weakest of all things in the world,and yet there is nothing to be compared with it in overcoming what is hard and strong. You can cut water with a knife and it lets the knife go right through, yet water alone cut the Grand Canyon out of solid rock.

Lao-tzu also said that while being a man, one should retain a certain essential feminine element, and that he who does this will become a channel for the whole world. The ideal of the hundred-percent tough guy, the rigid, the rugged fellow with muscles like steel, is really a model of weakness. We probably assume this sort of tough exterior will work as a hard shell to protect ourselves- but so much of what we fear from the outside gets to us because we fear our own weakness on the inside. 

[…] And so you can always be sure that when a man pretends to be 100 percent male on the outside, he is in doubt of his manhood somewhere on the inside. If he can allow himself to be weak, he can allow himself to experience what is really his greatest strength. This is so not only of human beings, but of all living things.

Watts, Alan. “The Strength of Weakness.” What Is Tao? N.p.: New World Library, 2001. N. pag. Print.

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