I’ve long been drawn to the beauty and simplicity of the Tao Te Ching, or the Tao. It consists of 81 short verses and includes such well known phrases as “A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.” The lessons are pithy and the meaning often elusive. As such, it is often translated and interpreted.
I trace my interest in the Tao back to 1982 when I was living in a radio station in Alaska (yes, that’s a story unto itself). One of the two TV stations I had to watch was WGN out of Chicago and on Sunday nights they aired episodes of the 1970’s TV show “Kung Fu.” It was from watching that show that I got interested in eastern philosophy, something that has stayed with me since.
Each week, I’m adapting one of the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching into a kindness-oriented poem. I stress that I am adapting the verses, not translating them, although it would be equally valid to say I’m writing kindness poems inspired by the Tao.
I started posting these on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every Friday a few months ago, and an online friend publishes them on her publication called “Change Your Mind, Change Your Life” on Medium. I also archive them on the Kind Living website.
What prompted me to share this is it seems the poems have started getting a following. People on Facebook pass them along and share with me that they look forward to seeing them each Friday. Hits to the Kind Living website have a tenfold increase on most Fridays.
Included below is a recent poem that got picked up by the curators for poetry on Medium, meaning it was featured on their site. As such and because of Medium’s system of paying authors, I’ve made over $5 for it!
So how about that?! I’m a paid poet.