Study Guide

Tao Te Ching Humility

By Lao Tzu

Humility

If the Tao Te Ching could only say one thing, it might be something like, "Yo, get over yourself." Well, it would probably say it more eloquently than that… which it does over and over again throughout this ancient Chinese text.

One of the TTC's main messages is that we have to eliminate the self before we can truly become one with the Tao, a.k.a. the great big flow of everything that is. By being humble and not going around talking about how great we are, we ultimately join something far greater than we can understand.

Questions About Humility

  1. How does the Tao Te Ching define humility?
  2. In what ways does the TTC use the example of the Tao itself as an example of humble living?
  3. According to the TTC, what are the consequences of being arrogant?
  4. What's so great about being humble? What can we gain for ourselves by being selfless? What examples does the TTC give to support these ideas?

Chew on This

The Tao nurtures all things without bragging; if we follow its example of humility, then we will live fuller and more peaceful lives.

The Tao Te Ching is totally wrong about humility being a good thing; if you do something well, what's wrong with talking about it?