Do Without Doing
Taoism has this concept of "do without doing," and I've been trying to
figure out exactly what this means. One of the better explanation comes
from Stan Rosenthal's version…
The sage seems to do little or naught,
Yet he leaves nothing undone.
A foolish man must always strive.
Whilst leaving much undone.
The Tao often (as we all do) defines things in terms of their opposite, and
this "do without doing" is placed against the phrase "always strive," and
maybe this is the key. Perhaps we can do and have fun and really enjoy
life, but not worry, stress, strive or really work.
Work in the sense of neither unnecessary work, or of "trying to get ahead"
or of "climbing the ladder." Some of the most successful people I know
never "work" at getting promotions, they just do their job and are genuine.
That quality comes across.
Or maybe this is talking about the cliché of "trying too hard." For
elsewhere in the Tao it talks about doing things when they are easy to do,
as opposed to waiting until there is a large problem to solve. However, I
guess the trick here would be knowing when to meddle and when to let nature
take its course…
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