wanting less

When the world’s on the Way,
they use horses to haul manure.
When the world gets off the Way,
they breed warhorses on the common.

The greatest evil: wanting more.
The worst luck: discontent.
Greed’s the curse of life.

To know enough’s enough
is enough to know.

Lao Tzu
Ursula K Le Guin’s version

I love that last stanza. Its simplicity and brevity and veracity.

This is similar to the previous couple poems, where contentment is seen as a higher value. Power and wealth are not necessarily bad or improper, but the desire for power and wealth is an inherently destructive force in your life and the lives of those around you.

When we stop following the Tao, we seek violence and wealth, and we will find ourselves forever unsatisfied. Nothing will calm the greed that poisons us. The want within us. The absence eating away at us.

And so know when you have what you need, and let that be enough for you.

This can apply to all things in life, from the trivial to the profound: know what you need and be satisfied with receiving that.

This will lead to contentment, and contentment is peace, happiness.

Let it enfold you.

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