73 – Chuck Norris wishes!
There’s a line in this verse which could feasibly be glossed as, Who knows why some things work and others don’t? That certainly seems relevant to the language teacher who is condemned to walk the earth between episodes of meticulously planned but unforeseen failure and moments of spontaneously unplanned but eagerly desired triumph. Hmm… I wonder how much it would cost to have that inscribed on my headstone?
So what does Lao have to offer to the poor sod who is at the disposition of heaven? The promise that the Way, Tao, is the way. He reminds us that without trying, Tao succeeds; without speaking, it answers the question; without mailing out embossed invitations, it attracts the right sort of people to the party. It’s like a big net, says Lao. It has a big mesh, but nothing slips through. It is not dolphin-friendly.
All of which means…? Oh come on! Effortless effort! Wu wei! Go easy on yourselves! Be aware of what is happening in front of you in a classroom. You don’t need planning or photocopies. You only need this awareness. By reacting and interacting with whatever is happening, you are surfing the tao. Forget the inevitably grammar-based syllabus; know that the way will cover (or uncover for the Thornburians) everything. Does it work? Of course it bloody works! Why? Ah! says Lao, Who knows? Does it really matter?