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The Word on the Street
One isn?t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can?t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
When the highest type of people hear Tao (Truth), they diligently practice it. When the average type of people hear Tao, they half believe in it. When the lowest type of people hear Tao, they laugh at it. If they did not laugh, it would not be Tao.
The human being is part of the whole, called by us the ?universe?, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest ? a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.