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Like a Child

Card 19: Like a Child

I am singular in my trustfulness,
I am devoid of ambition,
I am as inncent as a babe.
I am a waif, a stray, a child without a home.
All others have an excess of things,
and I am as one abandoned.
How foolish and simple I am!
I am bewildered.
Everyone sparkles with intelligence;
I am alone in my obscurity.

I am tossed about like the ocean;
I wander and am never at rest.
Everyone has something to do;
I alone am incapable and without merit.

I alone am estranged from the people,
but I glory at the breast of my mother!

Innocent, trusting, and simple, Lao-tzu is both Sage and child. Having no purpose in his living, no desire to be, nowhere to go, he is like one abandoned. In a world where scholarly intelligence is respected, his child-like innocence goes unnoticed. In a world where everyone is busy doing something, he seems to be useless. Tossed around, being pulled from here to there, wandering about and not settling down, he seems to be out of place.

But having nothing to do and nowhere to go, the Sage is at peace with himself and the world. Not being caught up in it, he may indeed be estranged from the ways of the world, but the Sage is free to wander; and in wandering, to wonder. The Sage preserves his innocence through his childlikeness.

He may have no home in the world, he may have to wander alone and estranged, but the Sage is at home in the source of his being. With child-like innocence, the Sage has come home and is nourished. His heart is open; he is simple and free.

Become like a child. Watch the world through a child’s eyes. Experience the wonder of each new moment. Look around you in innocent friendliness. Hold out your hand in trust. Greet the Unknown with a smile.

Source: The Tao Box, Adapted and Interpreted by Priya Hemenway

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