75 – in April 1975, Robbie Fowler was born.
Perhaps my favourite verse in the whole book. It’s a description of how reaction – and over-reaction – can actually cause the original problem to arise. Huh? Well, look at it this way: People rebel. The government repress them. This is why they rebel. People hold life cheap./ The rich make it costly,/That’s why people hold life cheap.
Problems can often find their roots in the solutions employed to deal with them:
Grammar is confusing. Teachers make rules to make it easier. These rules are why grammar is confusing. Speaking accurately is difficult.
Teachers work hard to train their students to be accurate. This is why it is difficult to speak accurately.
Reading is boring. Teachers work hard to find texts to study in class. This is why reading is boring.
English is a hateful subject. Students have to study it if they want to progress in life. This is why English is a hateful subject.
We could go on. But the message should be clear (???). Lao sums it up neatly, Having little to live on, one knows better than to value life too much. For our purposes, this can be glossed as, Knowing the little that needs to be done, one knows better than to value teachers too much.