Thoreau wrote, ”It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.” Society teaches us, and thus we learn, that many individuals are better than others. And we start to believe in this nonsense. Society’s deeming that those who have the most money, power, and possessions, and thus are the happiest is a true fiction.
“Thoreau also exclaimed that “It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all.” This saying is very much a Taoist way of thinking. Those who have the most, have the most to lose. Thoreau suggests here that having the trait that glorifies “having the advantage truly makes a person a prisoner in this life. If you seek not to gain any advantage over the next person, you have the greatest advantage in your peace of mind that you do not have to compete with others for symbols of glory.
Thoreau also wrote, “It is what a man thinks of himself that really determine his fate.” I could also add to that that a man’s character also determines his fate. Everyone has a gift in that all are unique individuals. Do not boast, but always know that you are unique and different from every other person on earth. And knowing this give you the confidence to live fully every day, knowing that you are special in your own way. Also, as you should think highly of yourself, your sense of good character should rise too. And I believe that a man’s character determines his fate. If his character is flawed, say he is dishonest, his fate will be that he will live disconnected with everyone else, as nobody will trust him. He likely will be punished and land in prison, as there are so many traps that his dishonesty will fall into. On the other hand, if his character is strong, and honest, then the “glue” which enables him to function well in society will be solid, and so his life will be far more calm and tranquil.
If your character is being a liar, you can only get away with it for so long. As they once wrote, “You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but never all the people all the time.” If you do wrong and break integrity, you will be found out and your payment for your sins will far outweigh all the benefits you think you received. Again, as it says in the Bible, Numbers 32:23, “Be sure that your sin will find you out”. After living as long as I have, and witnessing my own and others lives, I can see the absolute truth in these sayings.
Do right things, and you will hence will highly about yourself, and your actions will continue to grow in respect and honor. If you engage in the opposite and dark actions, be certain that your fate will be in similar order, and you will think of yourself negatively. You will start feeling the ugliness inside yourself. In addition, you will lack physical strength and confidence. There was an exercise Wayne Dyer did that spoke volumes to this. He told one of the volunteers in his studio audience to come forth. That person was asked to lift his arms against resistance, and then think of something he did wrong and felt guilty about. And then Wayne Dyer pushed down on the arm…the arm collapsed down briskly and without resistance. But when the same person was asked to think of something he did right, with absolute honesty and was proud of, and then when Wayne Dyer pushed down on his arm, his arm barely budged. The point is that when you are thinking highly of yourself and knowing you are a unique individual, both your mind and body experience strength, courage, and hope.