“Treat those who are good with goodness,
and treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is obtained.
Be honest to those who are honest,
and be also honest to those who are not honest.
Thus honesty is attained.”
— Lau Tzu
A philosophy such as in this Lau Tzu quote escaped my understanding until recently. I was taught or learned rather to respond in kind. And even though I then lose my place and position, it was the fair thing to do–an eye for an eye and all that sort of thing.
Now I realize that in so doing, I’ve given up the thing that I thought I valued, such as the goodness, or the honesty to fight the evil-doers and liars, only to become as they and ultimately show how little I valued the previously held ideals.
It makes perfect sense to me now that treating all with goodness maintains the value of goodness. It also means that I make the choice by choosing goodness.
How does this apply in real life? I’ve worked a few jobs where things my boss told me to say or do were against my values, yet because they were my employer, my source of income, my livelihood, I folded and did as was requested or instructed feeling crappy about it, yet doing it nonetheless. I could see how the client was looking at me and thinking about me, but I felt that I had no choice. I mean, it wasn’t exactly like breaking the law or anything, it was just not right in my mind–more like a difference of opinion or outlook. Yet, no matter how I tried to justify it or whitewash it, it was still distasteful to me.
Today, I would respond differently and take the risk. This is probably one of the big reasons that I am in business for myself because I can make the decisions and feel good about them and do what I think is right. Now if something doesn’t feel right to me, I am in total control of changing it until it does. Thus rightness or integrity is obtained.
“If You Don’t Change Direction, You May End Up Where You Are Heading.” — Lao Tzu
Spread Some Joy Today–Love yourself first and foremost.