Lao Tzu

Topics: United States, Taoism, Leadership Pages: 2 (566 words) Published: February 26, 2014
Fernanda Virgen
22 January 2014

“If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to follow the Tao. Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts and the world will govern itself.” These words were spoken by Lao-Tzu, a philosopher credited for writing the “Tao-te Ching” and the presumed founder of Taoism. In the Tao-te Ching, Lao-Tzu describes the qualities a political leader should acquire in order to become great leaders. Although some people imagine a great leader as being die-hard and commanding, Lao-Tzu believes that a great leader is actually one who doesn’t use force unless it is absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you want to excel as a leader one must follow the words of the Tao.

In the Tao, Lao-Tzu states, “when rich speculators prosper while farmers lose their land, when government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures; when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible while the poor have nowhere to turn—all this robbery and chaos, it is not in keeping with the Tao” (211). In America, we face the same problems La-Tzu spoken against. For example, according to Census, in 2012 fifteen percent of Americans lived in poverty. That is about 46.5 million Americans. Despite having millions and millions of Americans struggling to put food on their tables, we have government officials getting overly paid. In fact, according to L.A. Times Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles made a yearly amount of 205,661 dollars. Let us not include that he lived rent-free in a luxurious Tudor-style mansion in Hancock Park. By spoiling the already rich, or in other words “going against the Tao”, how exactly does that resolve all the “robbery and chaos” such as the poverty population in America?

Therefore, instead of going against the Tao one should follow the words of the Tao. For instance, Lao-Tzu states, “I let go of the law, and people become honest. I let go of economics and people become prosperous” (211). If leaders of...

Cited: Lao-Tzu. “Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching.” A World of Ideas. Ed.Lee A. Jacobus. 9th Edition. Boston: New York, 2013. Print 206, 208, 210, 212, 214.
Pandey Swati. “Are They Worth It?” Los Angeles Times. 06 Nov. 06 . http://www.latimes.com/
News/opinion/la-oe-salary06nov06,9,4911833.htmlstory#axzz2rlGwMjoh
N.P. “Poverty”. U.S. Census Bureau. 2012. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/
overview/
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