Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Anxieties And Burdens

Sometimes, having a name carries with it anxieties and burdens of responsibility.  Thus, people who have power and social status are often not free to do what they want.  Because everyone is watching them, they have to behave in a way that is expected of their reputation.  One error and they will lose their hard-earned reputation.  They are not exactly the happiest people.

Someone with neither social status nor a reputation to uphold may be a freer and happier person.  Why then work so hard to gain social recognition when it will only diminish your freedom and happiness?

-- The Liezi, a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a c. 5th century BCE philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE, Part Seven: Yang Zhu, Passage 72: A Name is Nothing and Titles are Empty

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