Tao of Management Verse 15


Verse 15:

THE ancient adepts of the Tao were subtle and flexible, profound and comprehensive.
Their minds were too deep to be fathomed.

Because they are unfathomable,
One can only describe them vaguely by their appearance.

Hesitant like one wading a stream in winter;
Timid like one afraid of his neighbours on all sides;
Cautious and courteous like a guest;
Yielding like ice on the point of melting;
Simple like an uncarved block;
Hollow like a cave;
Confused like a muddy pool;
And yet who else could quietly and gradually evolve from the muddy to the clear?
Who else could slowly but steadily move from the inert to the living?

He who keeps the Tao does not want to be full.
But precisely because he is never full,
He can always remain like a hidden sprout,
And does not rush to early ripening.

My Version

To be adept be subtle and flexible, profound and comprehensible.
Know that not all is clear to all at all times.

Consider the habits of the adept
Who know they are unknowing:

Hesitant like one wading a stream in winter;
Timid like one afraid of his neighbours on all sides;
Cautious and courteous like a guest;
Yielding like ice on the point of melting;
Simple like an uncarved block;
Hollow like a cave;
Confused like a muddy pool;
Yet with quiet and calm – resolves to crystal clarity
And brings the stillness within to life.

He who keeps the Tao leaves space for the Tao.
And precisely because he is never full,
He can always remain like a hidden sprout,
And does not rush to early ripening.

This one lends itself to nearly a wall poster. Know you are unknowing. Be timid, cautious, courteous, yielding, simple and open when approaching your work. This will keep you from stifling your creativity by “knowing it all”, and will keep you flexible and strong in the long run.

A very full cup is a very tense thing to carry around. Rather than being a vessel of satisfaction, it becomes all about the cup – guarding it, balancing it, defending ti from any outside influence. Leave plenty of room in a cup and you’ll be able to make it all about the people you work with. You might even get it filled up by someone else, increasing the goodness.

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