“Holding a cup and overfilling it
Cannot be as good as stopping short
Pounding a blade and sharpening it
Cannot be kept for long”
“Therefore the sage:
Source: Tao Te Ching (translation by Derek Lin) , chapter 9 and 29
It’s funny how much extremes don’t work for us. We cannot bend to any side with impunity — whether it’s an activity, a behavior or a standpoint. At some point there is a price to pay — either we “break” or “become blunt”.
For example, diving into an activity, a “passion” without consideration for all life’s crucial aspects usually brings pain. We have roles to play which require balanced attention — health, family, friends, professional life — private life. We have values which have to work in unison for us to be whole. We have to rest.
To behave in a measured way is a sign of experience and wisdom — if one doesn’t need to express himself loudly, obtrusively, aggressively or by contrast — passively, that person seems complete to us, seems consistent.