03 Aug 2021

A very humbling TED talk by Raymond Tang where he narrates the lessons he learnt about human qualities from the ancient Chinese writing of Tao Te Ching wherein these are compared to the character water exhibits. Maybe knowing them will help us too, to lead better lives.

The first lesson is about HUMILITY. The water flowing in a river always stays low. It will help the plants grow and will keep the animals alive without drawing any attention to itself or needing any reward or recognition. It stays humble and without this humble nature, life around it may not exist. Likewise a humble mindset will allow us to form much richer connections with the people around us. Isntead of always wanting to rush ahead of others it would be so much more fulfilling and meaningful to help others overcome their challenges so that they too can succeed. Eventually all streams end into the ocean which also remains lower than them all. Like humility gives water its power, being humble would allow us to remain grounded.

The second lesson is about HARMONY. Water always makes it's way around a rock in it's way without getting upset or angry or agitated. Water always manages to find a solution when faced with an obstacle without using force and entering into conflict. We get stressed when, in our endeavour to succeed or to prove ourselves, we are forced to change things in our way. This causes us to work against our environment instead of working in harmony with it. All it does is get us more frustrated. But by just changing our focus from trying to achieve more success to trying to achieve more harmony, the calmness can return. Ask yourself these questions - will this action bring me and my environmrnt greater harmony? Does this align with my nature? You will become more comfortable simply being who you are, rather than who you are supposed or expected to be. Endeavor to shift focus from achieving more success to achieving more harmony.

The third lesson is about OPENNESS. Water is open to change. Depending on the temperature, it can be a liquid, solid or gas and depending on the medium it changes it's form. Water's ability to adapt and change and remain flexible makes it enduring despite all the changes in the environment. We currently live in a world of constant change where our job description is ever changing and so is our career path. To stay relevant under such changing times and circumstances we too need to constantly reinvent and refresh our skills. Only by being open to unlearning and relearning and also helping others to achieve the same, can we survive our changing enironments.

Life indeed would be fun and an amazing experience with Humility, Harmony and Openness.