I found myself looking at a post from June 30th, 2010 that had the Lao-Tzu quote above. In addition, the main text is here:
“Receiving and giving are both important aspects of life. The thought that giving is better or more fulfilling than receiving is a common thought expressed in the Bible and thousands of other places. I especially like this quote of Lao-Tzu because it uses the word scatters rather than giving, and though they achieve the same result essentially, the method of scattering says giving more clearly to me. Pretty cool, don’t you think?”
After I re-read what I had written years ago, I reflected on the quote again and then I saw deeper into the soul of the quote. Here is what I see in this now:
Leaving out the idea of desire, since desire can certainly be a part of obtaining, and of scattering, I see lack and abundance. Lack in terms of wanting and needing and acting on something that is not, in order to make it something that is. Abundance in terms of having already and wanting to share that which we have.
I can see selfish and selfless, although I don’t much care for those two words because they are misconstrued all the time. It is not wrong to be selfish, nor right to be selfless, although it is often seen that way. The more I learn, the more I see that the concepts of right and wrong do not apply to truth.
I can see the seeking and the sharing. Seeking power, prestige, influence, and then the empowering of others in sharing influence and power, giving of ourselves, and more.
I see filling the things that are empty and emptying the things that are full. A long time ago at about 22 years of age, just entering the auto business as a fresh salesman, my boss and general manager Don Tanner gave me some record albums regarding sales and a few that back then were thought of as motivational (I call them inspirational now). I’ve never forgotten one concept on one of the albums. He said, “there are only three jobs in life. One, filling the things that are empty. Two, emptying the things that are full. And, three, scratching where it itches.” It’s amazing how true that is and the volumes of wisdom that it speaks on the same level of the master Lao-Tzu.
Filling the things that are empty, regardless of the volume currently in the thing is operating from a position of lack, need, worry, poor planning, and more. Emptying the things that are full is operating from a position of abundance, wealth (regardless of the volume in the thing or the number as it might compare with others who claim to have wealth), fulfillment, peace, and much more. They are two different points of view and they are two different modes of thinking and action.
Of course, we can make the world black or white all we want and that causes more and more separation, yet as they are combined with some obtaining and some scattering, and then throw in a bit of scratching of the itches wherever they may occur, we can get a wonderful result. Realizing where we are and what we are doing, along with remembering the simple and profound quote by Lau-Tzu, or the guy on the record, can help us make minor and yet incredibly effective course adjustments that can not only better satisfy us, but all those that surround us.
One last and most important thing. As we can turn our perspective more toward that in us which is already full, gratitude is a natural result. As we expand in gratitude, we see the perfection in all things empty, full and satisfied or in need of a scratch.
Go Forward And Scatter Some Joy!
Spread Some Joy Today–by accepting the abundance of the joy within you and finding how many ways you can share that joy with others.