67- the summer of love
Lao was a modest old goat. He begins this chapter by writing, Everybody says that my way is great. Even with my hand off my heart, I couldn’t even begin to say the same thing.Perhaps Lao, was referring to a premonition of Sinatra’s My Way; perhaps he meant my Way. Or maybe he was misheard and he was boasting of his culinary skills and his aptitude in getting the perfect consistency to his whey. Whatever it was, he follows it up by qualifying [great] but improbable. And how about this for ambiguity: All greatness/ is improbable./What’s probable/is tedious and petty. Does improbable here mean aspirational (and therefore desirable) or unlikely (and therefore a pointless distraction)? As Cilla Black would have said, You decide.
Lao advises us that we should be guided by three treasures, all of which begin with M. Mercy, modesty and moderation. And the bedrock upon which we should cultivate these qualities is the bedrock of compassion. Translated into the language learning environment, this is probably entirely in keeping with the unconditional positive regard advocated by Carl Rogers. I think it’s worth pointing out that the target of this unconditional positive regard can be found as much within yourself as within others.
A rather lovey-dovey conclusion, I am ashamed to say. This decaff is clearly having more an effect upon me than I expected. I have a packet of espresso waiting for me when this has finished. In the meantime, love one another as I have loved you. But always keep an AK-47 within reach.