Courtesy of Hexagram 40 (Thunder over Water) and Wu-Jing Nuan’s edition of the Yi Jing, I recently came across this quote from the Tao Te Ching:
“The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.” ~ Chuang Tzu
How does this idea of yin and yang play out in your life?
This quote really struck home for me because every day I think about how we can counteract the toxic and frightening actions of our current Commander in Chief. Non-violent and humorous forms of protest are really helpful but that’s not going to be enough. Intellectual arguments will not be enough. The law will not be enough. Politics will not be enough. Being louder and meaner will not be enough. Exposing his corruption has not been enough. Ignoring him would be his worst nightmare but it’s too dangerous for the rest of us. So what’s left? Caring.
I think caring is the softest thing in the universe. Caring creates the impulse to pay attention and sparks our curiosity about what is needed by those we care about. By responding to our natural curiosity we learn compassion. Publicly showing that you care is one of the most daring and dangerous social actions you can take. Don’t confuse being soft (yin) with being gullible. If you think that people who care too much are chumps you might want to ask yourself why you think that.
My definition of caring: Small daily actions, inspired by curiosity and compassion, that support the kind of world you want. These actions count and accumulate regardless of whether or not they are witnessed. Caring is an invisible force of nature.
If caring is the softest thing then what is the hardest? Control.
Caring without trying to control? That’s radical resistance.