…they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”— Lao-Tze

“Lao Tzu is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C. According to one legend, he is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire. Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognized him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text called the Tao Te Ching. After writing this, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit.

There is a story about the three great Asian spiritual leaders (Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Buddha). All were meant to have tasted vinegar. Confucius found it sour, much like he found the world full of degenerate people, and Buddha found it bitter, much like he found the world to be full of suffering. But Lao Tzu found the world sweet because he looked at the apparent discord in the world and saw an underlying harmony.” https://www.theschooloflife.com/

Regardless of what you believe spiritually, I believe these words hold wisdom today. How often I just blurt out something and instantly regret it. Our words truly have power, and they can cause pain. We can’t always control what pops into our heads, but we can control what we do with them. If we take a moment and look at that thought, rather than react upon it, maybe we can not react and instead, formulate a response, or maybe even formulate a positive action from that thought.

Maybe the person tailgating you and flashing his lights and trying to pass is in the middle of a crisis, trying to get to a hospital. Maybe the person who cuts in front of you needs to get back home with that orange juice to someone in crisis. Maybe someone is just doing their job the way they were told to, and has to follow rules. But the bottom line is, we don’t know. But we can respond with generosity and grace because we don’t know. It doesn’t really matter why, it only matters how we respond. Because our response is who we are.

Today, I think I will think. I will take a moment and maybe not judge, and offer a bit of grace in this not so harmonious present and slide a bit of discord away from the center of my life…. As always, my hopes are for your hopes and dreams.