Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I had trouble with the internet this morning, or maybe just the VPN. Hard to tell. I'll say this, though, on December 13 when my subscription to Astrill runs out, I won't be renewing. It has got to be the worst VPN in history. But I don't want to be one of those people always complaining about my technical problems.

I enjoyed reading a few more chapters in the Tao Te Ching book. A lot of the chapters are about power, or have power in the title. The one I'll give this morning is Kinds Of Power, Chapter 33:

Knowing other people is intelligence,
knowing yourself is wisdom.
Overcoming others takes strength,
overcoming yourself takes greatness.
Contentment is wealth.

Boldly pushing forward takes resolution,
Staying put keeps you in position.

To live till you die
is to live long enough.


I loved each line more than the one before it.

Contentment really is the wealth I want, and I think it's the wealth most people want. But my poor students are so intent on getting money. I am sure they would say right out that money is their god. If I asked them to choose between money and family, most would choose family, but quite a lot of them would have to think long and hard about it. I always have to remind myself that these are the children of the survivors. Morality, loyalty... those are luxuries. Surviving is still key for them. Give it a few more generations.

Once you are in survival mode it is hard to break out of it. But there is so much more to life when you're not devoting all your energy to survival.

To live until you die is to live long enough... easy enough for Lao Tzu, he was what?... I dunno... a hundred? 
What about the children and young people in Bangkok this week? I am not sure they'd agree. I have always said that the factions would never let the violence come near the tourist centers, and I've always felt perfectly safe in Bangkok. I've been to both blast sites lots of times. I used to shop at the Big C and the Boots just a block away from the Erawan Shrine... Whoever did that, was trying to hurt tourists and upper class Thais. It's a shame. I hope it really was long enough...

I do have a big theology of enough. It comes from Hannukah. There was only a tiny little bit of oil, but they lit it, and it was enough. There is enough, I think. Use what you have. It's enough.


  1. Lao Tzu died when he was 40 apparently.

  2. Really?
    I'm going to have to look that up. I thought he was quite old when he left China. I've been wrong before, though. I guess it COULD happen again. Thanks, Shell.