I like a good puzzle – one where the answer isn’t immediately apparent but instead it needs a bit of time to think about and ponder on.  That’s one of the reasons that I like the short poems of Tao Te Ching.

I was thinking about the following:

‘We join spokes together in wheel, but it is the centre hole that makes the wagon move.’

[no. 11].

I was also thinking about how sometimes I’ve noticed that certain activities that I do are like chores which are a bit laborious and that have a way of draining me, whereas other activities, which some might look on as work, I love to do and they have a way of energising me.  On reflection, it seems to me that those things that that are joyful effort come from the centre of your being, from who you truly are.  The more I noticed this, the more I thought about how I want to live from the centre of my being and do things which manifest who I am as a unique individual.

Another part of Taoism had puzzled me, which is when it extolled ‘non-action’ and was derisive about action. But then I realised that when you ‘act’ out of the centre of your being you are not ‘doing’, you are ‘being’ – being who you truly are: ‘He doesn’t think about his actions; they flow from the core of his being’ [no. 50].

So the message is ‘Be who you are’, ‘Be who you were born to be’, ‘Be the unique person your life has shaped you to be.’

I had a bit of fun with this when travelling back on the motorway and I stopped at a service-station. Unfortunately the coffee was from Starbucks and I really don’t like how they insist on asking your name and then writing it on a cup.  But this time I was ready with my answer to ‘What’s your name?’.

My name is ‘Be’.  That is enough.


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