10 November 2016

Dao Brings Harmony - DaoDeJing 60

The way to harmony and peace is through the way of Dao with minimum deviation and interference,  Lao Zi says in DaoDeJing 60.

DaoDeJing Chapter 60 Text and Translation

治大国(者),若烹小鲜;
Governing a large country is like cooking a little fish. (You cannot stir the fish too often)

以道莅天下,其鬼不神;
Using Dao to approach the world will result in no one trying to play tricks.

非其鬼不神,其神不伤人;
Not only the tricks not played. Even if played, the will no harmful effect.

非其神不伤人,圣人亦不伤人;
Not only the effect is not harmful, the sages will have no need to punish people [since no harmful effects are there]

夫两不相伤,故德交归焉!
Hence, both don't have to harm each other. This is because of the exchange of virtuous behaviors leading to harmony.

How do you fry a little fish?
If you have to fry a fish, you just make sure the oil is hot and then you put in the fish. You have to wait for the flesh of the fish to be cooked on one side first before you flip it to fry the other side. If you flip too often without waiting for the flesh to harden, you will get a messy and ugly looking fish.

The Two Lessons
The first lesson is to use the right method. Governing people must be based on the Dao Way - the virtues and principles of Dao.

The second lesson is to be consistent and not change your policies too often. Give time for the right policy to work out.

Harmony is the working together of different groups of people. They don't discriminate against one another because they are different. Instead, they value and appreciate the differences. It is the shared mission and shared values of Dao that unite them together.

Reflections:

What are the values that you should have? 
Are they able to bring forth harmony?
Are your policies derived from those values?
Do you let your policies take its time, with proper communications and exemplifying behavior?

Lim Liat (c) 10 Nov 2016

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