“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity. Reduce selfishness, have few desires.” – Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu’s counsel helps us to keep life pure. If we are running from one activity to the next, we are missing serenity in our daily lives. If we are accumulating things, our lives are crowded by materialism. It can prevent us from being clear and free to receive new ideas.
Simplicity allows us to not be distracted. We focus on living a life well lived. We focus on spiritual qualities such as kindness and consideration, which allow our lives to serve others, and ourselves, with the highest good in mind.
The specific birthdate of Lao Tzu is unknown. Legends vary, but scholars place his birth between 600 and 300 B.C.E. Lao Tzu is attributed with the writing of the “Tao-Te Ching,” (tao—meaning the way of all life, te—meaning the fit use of life by men, and ching—meaning text or classic). Lao Tzu was not his real name, but an honorific given the sage, meaning “Old Master.” Lao Tzu’s wise counsel attracted followers, but he refused to set his ideas down in writing. He believed that written words might solidify into formal dogma. Lao Tzu wanted his philosophy to remain a natural way to live life with goodness, serenity and respect. Lao Tzu laid down no rigid code of behavior. He believed a person’s conduct should be governed by instinct and conscience.