Lao Tzu: Why you should respect yourself

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer known for his work, the Tao Te Ching. This book contains many pearls of wisdom, including this quote:

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”


In this article, we explore what Lao Tzu meant by this quote and why it is still relevant today.

Lao Tzu's life and legacy

Lao Tzu lived in China in the 6th century BC. Not much is known about his early life, but it is believed that he worked as a librarian at the imperial court. Eventually, he became disillusioned with the government and decided to leave society altogether. Legend has it that he was stopped at the gate by a guard who demanded that he write down his teachings before he could leave. This text became known as the Tao Te Ching and has been translated into numerous languages over the centuries.

The Tao Te Ching is an 81-verse book that deals with the nature of reality, morality, and the way people should live their lives. Although it is steeped in Chinese culture and relates to ancient Chinese mythology, its teachings are universal and still relevant today. One of the most famous quotes from the book reads:

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

What Lao Tzu meant by this quote

So what did Lao Tzu mean when he said, "If you are content to just be yourself and not compare or compete, everyone will respect you."

Essentially, he was saying that it's more important to focus on being your best self than worrying about what others think of you. When you're happy with yourself, you naturally radiate confidence - and others will notice.

Why this quote is still relevant today

In today's world, it's easy to compare yourself to others. On social media, there's a constant stream of highlights from other people's lives. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone else's life is perfect - and that our own pales in comparison.

However, that couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone has their own struggles, no matter what they look like on the surface.

By focusing on being our best selves, we can learn to value our own lives more - and thereby earn the respect of those around us.

So the next time you find yourself comparing your life to others', remember Lao Tzu's words and focus on just being yourself.

Final thoughts

If there is anything we can learn from Lao Tzu, it is that respect for ourselves should be our top priority - and only then will others respect us.

In today's world where social media makes it easy to compare ourselves to others, it's more important than ever to focus on being content with who we are. By staying true to ourselves and not competing with others, we can earn the respect of those around us while learning to value our own lives more.

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