Convincing Others

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 56


The more we understand this path,
the less we need to convince others.
The more we need to convince others,
the less we really understand.

So we become silent.
We stop looking about for approval.
We cease taking offense
at the opinions of others.
We no longer complicate our thinking or our lives.
We do not seek the spotlight
but instead become a simple part of all that is.

We can be loved or shunned,
make a profit or suffer a loss,
be honored or disgraced,
and never lose the treasure of our being.




As I have aged, I have become less argumentative – at least outwardly. I don’t speak at events as often and when I do I am fairly non-polemic. But, in my mind I still carry on some beautiful, incisive, and powerful arguments with “conservatives and fundamentalists” that are absolutely brilliant! I rant, instruct, put-down, and in general behave like an pedantic professor. While driving into town my mental rejoinders make Trump into the buffoon I see him to be. Climate deniers are stripped of their position by my scientific acumen.

I do feel a growing contentment and spend very little time looking for outward approval. But it is important to note that the place where real growth is measured is within my mind. There is where I am learning to be silent, non-judgmental, simple, and understanding. It is here that I have lots of work left to do.

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