I recently finished reading “The Tao of Pooh”, a basic beginners guide to the main principles of Taoism. There are gems of wisdom throughout the book, but here is one near the end that I think people should know-

Despite what Eeyore once said, when it comes to enjoying life and making use of who we are, all of us can; it’s just that some don’t. Sitting contented by Walden Pond a few years ago, a Wise Observer wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” The desperation may have been quiet then, we suppose. Now, it’s deafening. But we don’t have to be a part of it. We can stop our desperate clinging to hollow life-substitutes, and set ourselves free. When we make the first move, the process will begin. And that brings us to the Tiddely-Pom Principle, which comes from a song by Pooh.

Now the principle can work negatively or positively. It can promote cynicism as easily as it can encourage hope. It can build hardened criminals or courages heroes, stupid vandals or brilliant creators. The important thing is to make it work for yourself and the benefit of others, or face the Ugly Consequences. Working with the Tiddely-Pom Principle, you use respect to build Respect. The more it snows, the more it goes.

Here’s the final bit that I think is super important-

Do you want to be really happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got. Do you want to be really miserable? You can begin by being discontented. As Lao-tse wrote, “a tree as big around as you can reach starts with a small seed; a thousand-mile journey starts with one step.” Wisdom, Happiness and Courage are not waiting somewhere out beyond sight at the end of a straight line; they’re part of a continuous cycle that begins right here. They’re not only the ending, but the beginning as well. The more it snows, the more it goes, the more it goes on snowing. Chuang-tse described it this way:

It is widely recognized that the courageous spirit of a single man can inspire to victory an army of thousands. If one concerned with ordinary gain can create such an effect, how much more will be produced by one who cares for greater things!

 

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