Just Three Things to Teach

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.

Verse #67 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Only three things to teach? Lao Tzu is very verbose if he only has three things to teach. Interesting that one of them is simplicity! Patience and compassion are very well known. These things may not be put into practice very often in your life yet it is probably a good bet that you understand what they are. So I will explore simplicity and its lessons and principles. Since I think many of us would agree that the world today is any but simple.

You probably have a good idea of what simplicity is also. So do I and, as always do when I want clear on something. I start with a dictionary definition (those of you who are long time readers know this!). This time is no exception. Simplicity means the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do or the condition of being plain or natural. There, now we are all on the same page about what the definition of simplicity is. I don’t know if that clears up what Lao Tzu meant when he wrote “teach simplicity.” How do you teach simplicity? What does it means to incorporate simplicity into your life?

I know my life always seams to have thousands of things going on within it. There always seems to be something I “must” do or “should” do. If I don’t have enough things on my list, there are other people who are more than willing to add others. How in the world, with all the stuff I have going on and all the stuff I want to do, am I supposed to have simplicity? Well, I believe that simplicity as LaoTzu is referring to is not about the things you do, although that is part of it, so much as the way and mindset of you doing them.

Keep it simple. Have you heard that before? Focus on one thing at a time. Do one thing at a time. Solve problems in the simplest way available. Be concise and purposeful in your conversations. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Simple, right? Then you never have to remember who you told what. Be present in the moment. Accept things as they are and release judgments and preconceived notions. That is called the “natural” aspect of simplicity. Simple in thought – straight to the point, one thing at a time. Simple in action – do one things, do it well and do it for a clear purpose. Simple in life – live this moment now, to the best of your ability and let the rest go. Ahhhh, simplicity! A breath of fresh air.


In Love and Light


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