Lao Tzu on Grace under Pressure

A milkman goes to work during the London Blitz, 1940

Heaven and earth are not benevolent, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs [1]; the sage is ruthless, and treats the people as straw dogs.

Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching (c. fourth century B.C.)

Photograph: A milkman goes to work during the London Blitz, 1940

1 In the T’ien yün chapter in the Chuang tzu it is said that straw dogs were treated with the greatest deference before they were used as an offering, only to be discarded and trampled upon as soon as they had served their purpose.

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