How great is the difference between approval and disapproval?
How much alike are good and evil?
Must you fear what others fear?
Desolate! This is without end.
Most people desire to be joyful and merry,
as if celebrating at a great feast in the spring.
But the wise person remains placid,
showing no desire,
like an infant who has not yet learned to smile.
And weary, like a homeless wanderer.
Most people desire to possess too much.
But the wise person appears wanting and foolish of mind.
Most people value brilliance and cleverness.
But the wise person seems confused and obtuse,
as if drifting upon windy seas, without direction.
Most people desire to have a useful purpose.
But the wise person appears obstinate, unrefined.
The wise person alone is different from most people,
in that he prefers to draw sustenance only from the Tao.
-Lao-tzu- (Tao Te Ching, verse 20 , interpretation by Robert Brookes)