Were They Speaking Empty Words?


Tao Te Ching 22

Yield and remain whole
Bend and remain straight
Be low and become filled
Be worn out and become renewed
Have little and receive
Have much and be confused
Therefore the sages hold to the one as an example for the world
Without flaunting themselves – and so are seen clearly
Without presuming themselves – and so are distinguished
Without praising themselves – and so have merit
Without boasting about themselves – and so are lasting

Because they do not contend, the world cannot contend with them
What the ancients called “the one who yields and remains whole”
Were they speaking empty words?
Sincerity becoming whole, and returning to oneself


10 thoughts on “Were They Speaking Empty Words?

  1. Pingback: thanks-timber, it’s going down! | hugsnblessings

  2. We had a saying when I was growing up. It went, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me.’ This is so wrong. Words are powerful and can remain with you and affect you all your life.

    Words of wisdom are timeless. Their truth remains forever.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Indeed, all words have power in them, hence the emphasis on ‘power of written word.” Word of God or logos is subtle power behind manifested word. Words of wisdom by sages always mean great things. We only need to listen to them carefully and it’s revealed.Thanks for your visit and thoughtful comment 🙂 Anand

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Letting the words come in…….thinking, thinking, thinking, hearing, reading……
    I think these words are beautiful, not empty at all, if you can feel them in your heart and life.
    They make me silent and at peace.

    Thanks again for this beauty!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello Vibrant:
    Words are never empty. They can be good or bad, but never empty. It is not the words that are used, but the intent of the person speaking or writing them. There are people in this world that could never be hurt by words and I feel sorry for them because they have no heart or conscience. There are people in this world that are hurt ever day by words and most of them are children. I cry for them. I use my words carefully because I know first hand how devastating they can be.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Bacole 🙂

      I agree with you. We should speak words which make people feel good. Words which come out of clean heart are soothing.
      Thanks for your feedback and visit.
      However: In this verse of Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu is pointing to ancient sages who were wise and using “were they speaking empty words” as a rhetoric.

      Have a great day.
      Anand 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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