Daily Tao / 130 – Struggle


Life acquires meaning
When we face the conflict
Between our desires
And reality.

We all have differing personalities vying for predominance in our lives. Some come out at just the right moment. At other times, our aspirations and our fondest hopes find little support in our environment. Only a few can truly say that they are living their lives exactly according to their desires. For the majority of us, life is a series of conflicts between our inner ideas and outer constrictions. How will we test ourselves against the flexing of external circumstances?

Goals are important. Forbearance is also important. But the very process of struggle is equally essential. Rice must undergo the hardship of pounding in order to become white. Steel must endure the forge in order to become strong. Adversity is the tempering of one’s mettle. Without it, we cannot know any true meaning in our accomplishments. Of course, when things happen without struggle, it does not mean that we did not deserve it.

A musician may compose a brilliant piece in an afternoon. An artist will dash off a masterpiece in a single sitting. A writer will write significant passages as if they were dictated. Each might say, “It happened so fast!” But in reality, it took all of them years of dedication and struggle to come to that moment of climax. Thus even the virtuoso performance is the tip of a lifetime of struggle, and the gem of meaning is set in the metal of long perseverance.



One thought on “Daily Tao / 130 – Struggle

  1. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    Such an insightful post. In my own life, I can’t count the times recently that I have been awakened to the fact that each “new” step I take is based upon a lifetime of experiences. Through reflection, connecting the dots gives me such a feeling of love, as if every step was destined to lead to this moment.


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