The Tao Te Ching: Verse Fifty-Four

That which is well established cannot be uprooted
That which is strongly held cannot be taken
The descendants will commemorate it forever

Cultivate it in yourself; its virtue shall be true
Cultivate it in the family; its virtue shall be abundant
Cultivate it in the community; its virtue shall be lasting
Cultivate it in the country; its virtue shall be prosperous
Cultivate it in the world; its virtue shall be widespread

Therefore observe others with yourself
Observe other families with your family
Observe other communities with your community
Observe other countries with your country
Observe the world with the world
With what do I know the world?
With this

                                                                                                       Lao Tzu

The concept most central to Eastern philosophical thought is the awareness of the unity and mutual interconnection of all things and events. There are no coincidences. For every action there is a gentle ripple of energy that affects us all. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole (Great Oneness).

While Eastern thought refers to our spiritual and energetic bond; it is impossible to deny our actual ability to relate to each other when we can pick up a phone, text, Skype or email someone on the other side of the planet and reinforce that interconnectedness within minutes.

This is why it is so difficult to listen to the news. There is a never ending barrage of suicide boomers, a massacre of yet another group of innocent folks, civil wars and bloody riots. These events and our ability to relate to the people that it is happening to are united in real time. There is no such thing as something taking place is a remote corner of the world any longer. It is such a paradox. We can feel the real time elation of an Olympic record breaking performance and the heartbreak of a movie theater mass murder right on the couch in our home or the phone in our hand.

Perhaps the easy solution to protecting our hearts is to change the channel or try to unplug from the world. That may provide a short term solution but there is no getting way from the reality of being siblings of the same Great Mother. The guiding message from Lao Tzu, in this fifty-fourth verse of the Tao Te Ching, is to cultivate our sense of family. For it is in the acknowledgment of this Union of Souls that our greatness and perhaps even our salvation as a species may lie.

So let us commit to becoming Family Caregivers for each other. Look for the common thread you share with everyone you encounter. Pray for those in our family that are trying to make a better life free of tyranny. Get involved on an energetic level or in a more tangible manner but get involved. Cultivate respect and love.


3 thoughts on “The Tao Te Ching: Verse Fifty-Four

  1. Apprecicate your blog and post. I have been a caregiver in some capacity for 25 years. It takes decipline and commitment to care for our parents and loved ones in todays busy self focused world.

  2. Thank you for a informative and heart-felt article. What you write holds true even for those of us who are official caregivers, but who give caring, kindness and compassion to others. We are so much more than our separateness has taught us to be. We are now truly a global community and acting as One is our ultimate salvation. But, as you said, sitting on your couch and watching the world happen will not get it done. Choose to be in the world in some manner-to be part of the greater community.

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