The ancient philosophy of Daoism revolves around the idea of finding harmony with the world around us. One of the key founders, Laozi, believed that the best way to achieve this was to learn from nature. In particular, he felt that we could learn a lot from water.
“Water is soft and weak, yet for attacking hard and strong, nothing can surpass it.” — Laozi
On the surface, water seems weak. It can be easily contained and doesn’t appear to have much strength. But as anyone who has been caught in a flood knows, water can be incredibly powerful. It is capable of breaking through even the strongest of barriers.
Laozi saw water as a metaphor for how we should live our lives. We should be soft and malleable so that we can adapt to the ever-changing world around us. But at the same time, we should be relentless in the pursuit of our goals. We should never give up or give in.
“Water’s characteristic is its flowing; a man’s character lies in his dejecting.” — Laozi
Another important lesson that Laozi took from the water was the importance of staying in motion. Just like water always flows downhill, we should always be moving forward in life. Stagnation is just as deadly for us as it is for a pool of water. By constantly moving and progressing, we can avoid many of the pitfalls that life throws our way.
“In dwelling, live close to the ground.” — Laozi
Finally, Laozi believed that we should live simple lives, close to nature. We should appreciate the small things in life and not become too caught up in material possessions. This doesn’t mean we should all move to caves and live off the land (although some interpret it that way). Instead, it means that we should focus on what’s truly meaningful in life and not get distracted by superfluous things.
Learn From Nature
Laozi’s philosophy offers some valuable lessons that we can all apply to our lives regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack thereof). By learning from nature and focusing on what’s truly important, we can find harmony and peace in our lives.