#48 Part trois



"Less and less do you need to force things,
until you finally arrive at non-action."

Apply this to mothering and you could say that, despite all appearances to the contrary, mothering is not about doing.  Yes, it arrives at your door trailing lots of doings – changing endless diapers come to mind – but, if I may be so bold, I don’t think Lao Tzu would quibble with that kind of doing. 

They key is to do what is necessary. If you only do what is necessary, there is no need to force anything. It is necessary, oh so necessary, to change a diaper.

But let’s take the gigantic developmental milestone of learning to walk.  Absent a physiological impairment of some kind, a child needs absolutely no help learning to walk.  She will take care of that business entirely on her own time, in her own way. And yet, how often do you see a parent hunched over holding his child upright on unsteady, unready feet? 

I think Lao Tzu would call that unnecessary action.  What is the point of holding your child up to walk when she is perfectly able to do it on her own?  Who is that really for?

Would non-action leave you with an aching back?

Would non-action create dependence in a child where there was none?


6 thoughts on “#48 Part trois

  1. You’re definitely a thinker, and that’s why I always enjoy what you have to say.
    I just told CCE that I think in my golden years (and feel safe, they’re a bit away) I will visit all my blogging buddies. Sounds like a perfectly marvelous way to spend old age. You’re on my list.
    I have found that life is like Texas weather–if you don’t like what’s going on now, stick around–it’ll change.

  2. In answer to an earlier question, Moss Roberts – “Dao De Jing – Laozi – The Book of the Way”. I’ve been through quite a few over the years but this is a very recent one published by the University of California. You might also want to seek out “Chung Tzu – The Inner Chapters”.

  3. I think it’s easier to fill our lives with unnecessary busy-work than it is to slow down and take a long, hard look at who we really are. The easiest way to look at who we really are is to look at our children — the perfect mirror of ourselves. I like this method of parenting; I think I will try to focus on the necessary more often.

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