Putting a value on status will create contentiousness.
If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal.
By not displaying what is desirable, you will
cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed. The sage governs by emptying minds and hearts,
by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
Practice not doing. . . .
When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place.
Dyer, Wayne W.. Living the Wisdom of the Tao (p. 9). Hay House. Kindle Edition.
WHAT JESUS HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT:
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
King James Version
Placing too much value on status really does create contention. When you exalt someone because they are pretty or born wealthy or famous or smart, you immediately stir up strife, especially if you undervalue the people who are there for you every day, making life happen.
Virtue. Restraint. Integrity.
Those words seem to have fallen out of favor in our mainstream culture, at least here in America. I love my country so don’t take this the wrong way, but we are an abundantly blessed nation, and we are an abundantly WASTEFUL nation. We have sheds, storage units, houses and garages filled with clothes we never wear, purses we never carry, shoes we never walk in, furniture we never sit on, dishes we never eat out of, toys our kids never play with and books we never read.
LIVE abundantly, not hoard abundantly.
I believe in abundance. I believe we are meant to have all that we need and want in this life, but abundance is not equivalent to waste. There’s a story in the New Testament where Jesus talks about a man who had immense wealth and instead of using his excess for good, he just decided to build more barns to house all his belongings, then he died and took nothing with him. The whole point in having belongings is LIVE abundantly, not hoard abundantly. Live is an action word.
The first shall be last.
I notice that the Tao Te Ching talks about not showing off one’s stuff and not pushing to get ahead. This goes so against the way our society has been set up through the years. We’re taught to work hard and push our way to the top, but what if the top is really the bottom? Jesus talked about how when a person comes in and seeks to have the seat of honor that he will be removed and the seat given to another. What if trying to be “first” became unimportant to us?
I teach and inevitably every time the kids line up to go anywhere there’s that one kid (sometimes more) that will run and push to be first. I always send that kid to the back of the line, pick some child who simply lined up and put that one at the head of the line and then I’ll say, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” The kid who pushed and tried to be first will always say, “What does that mean?” I simply smile and say, “You think about it and figure that out.” Maybe, the answer is found in the idea that he who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted. So, whatever we do, if it comes from a place of pure selflessness, it is God’s way and that therefore, it will work out just as it should.