Summary of Be Humble – and Other Lessons from the Philosophy of Water

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Be Humble – and Other Lessons from the Philosophy of Water summary


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Put down that latest self-help book, urges IT manager Raymond Tang. Instead, he suggests heeding the wisdom of water. Drawing from an ancient poem in The Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way and Its Virtue, Tang presents three meditative, far-reaching lessons of water and advises asking yourself, “What would water do?” getAbstract recommends this talk to those seeking a fulfilling life or simply work-life balance.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What an ancient Chinese poem about water and human existence teaches about modern life, and
  • Which three qualities will help you lead a more meaningful life.

About the Speaker

Raymond Tang is an IT Manager for Westpac Banking Corporation and an advocate for cultural diversity.



Constant busyness can leave you with a feeling of hollow productivity. You may find yourself checking your phone, attending endless meetings and otherwise racing to keep pace with the world. This effort can spur stress and anxiety. How do you achieve fulfillment amid the blur of modern life? Self-help books don’t hold the answers; nor do friends and family. However, the words of a short poem from a 2,600-year-old Chinese classic, The Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way and Its Virtue, lend relevant wisdom. The poem avers that “the supreme goodness is like water” in that it remains grounded, “flows to depths,” represents itself honestly, doesn’t seek control and responds gently to confrontation. Like water, supreme goodness “aligns to timing” and “benefits all things without contention.” And just as water is content to be water, supreme goodness is satisfied with its nature. Three lessons from the poem will nurture a fulfilling life:

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