The Best

momdadpoolI am very lucky to have two wonderful, eternally young parents. The quote below has always reminded me of my father. You are the best Dad – happy birthday! The commentary after the quote is from Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day.

The best, like water, benefit all and do not compete.
They dwell in lowly spots that everyone else scorns.
Putting others before themselves, they find themselves in the foremost place
And come very near to the Tao.

   – Lao Tzu

In today’s competitive climate, often those who are aggressive about imposing their will on others are labeled “successful.” But the accomplishments of such people are often sadly short-lived, while the damage they do themselves and others can be far-reaching. When competitiveness is excessive, we end up offending others, feeling offended, and lashing back, and that undoes everything worthwhile we might achieve.

People who do not compete, on the other hand, seldom get upset when life goes against them. They do not try to impose their way on others, or get agitated or depressed or defensive when people hold different views.

Gandhi was an excellent example of this. It is said that he was at his best when he was criticized; it made him even more respectful and compassionate, and made him reach deeper into himself to find new ways of explaining his stand.

–Eknath Easwaran, Thought for the Day

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