Daily Tao / 47 – Impermanence


Tidal windstorm
Splits trees and rock,
Yet cannot last a day.
So much less, man’s work.

When a storm hits, an entire ocean of wind and rain is spent upon the land. Leaves are turned inside out, branches are torn, and even hard granite is worn away. But such gales seldom last and entire day. In spite of the tremendous amount of force that is released, the storm cannot last.

If heaven’s works cannot last a day, human works must be even less lasting. Governments barely survive from year to year, the rules of society are constantly being challenged, the family erodes, personal relationships decay, and one’s career topples. Even the monuments of the world are now being destroyed by air pollution and neglect. Nothing lasts. It is simple fact that no event set in motion by human beings lasts forever.

All our efforts are temporary. They borrow from preexisting forces, ride the current of natural events, and disappear according to the dictates of the situation. It is best to realize the transitory nature of things and work with it. Understanding the world’s ephemeral nature can be the biggest advantage of all.

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