Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose? But let time go on, and the state of repose will gradually arise.'
- Lao Tzu
It’s graduation season. It is all too likely that someone in your circle is graduating from an esteemed institution, be it a university or local high school, or kindergarten. And with graduations comes graduation speakers….politicians, celebrities, authors or that one guy who did that one thing.
I was trying to imagine who I would like to see give a graduation address that would be a bit more off the beaten path, one that would not cater to a limited view of success or climbing the slick ladder of fool hardy self interest.
Bill Murray immediately jumped to mind, Alice Walker came next, then Lao Tzu...
Obviously Lao Tzu has not been taking any personal speaking gigs these last 2500 years. But I was smitten with the idea of it, so… in his stead, I will be sharing what Lao Tzu wrote on the doctrine of inaction, what I imagine was a graduate speech a few millenia ago.