Leave it alone

Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.

Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.
Not that it isn’t there,
but you’ll be able to step out of its way.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

Tao Te Ching #60 – Translation by Stephen Mitchell

The important part is the first block. Think about it. What happens when you fry a small fish and you keep poking it? It falls apart. Or remember how your Mom told you to stop picking at that scab? And you didn’t, and what happened? It got worse, it got infected, it left a scar.

This country was founded upon “leave things alone.” Don’t tread on me. Stop interfering in people’s business. As Brian Enos said, “Freedom is letting things be.”

Why have we forgotten that?

When you remind people of that, why do so many resist it so much? Why is the response “Yeah but…”?

Life isn’t fair and no amount of effort, legislation, begging, praying, pleading, is going to make it fair. But the more you keep screwing around with things, the less you leave things alone and letting them work themselves out in a natural way (yes, that means being patient, even if it means it doesn’t happen in your lifetime), the more you’re going to risk screwing things up even more than they already might be.

Stop poking the fish.

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