The Tao of No (a bit of philosophical meandering...)
In Vietnamese, the word for the numeral zero is "khong", the exact same word as "no". It is the word used to hold place value, like zero. So I got to thinking...
Khong has value, even though it seemingly defines an empty space, or zero, or "nothing". This "no" is essential, has meaning, and our world would not function without it. In Taoism, nothing is something. There is no such thing as "wasting" time doing "nothing". The empty space and time are just as important and valuable as filled time and space. In fact, they often have more value.
In nature, the empty space (beach or shore) between land and sea keeps the ocean from overtaking the land and what is on the land; it also keeps the land from overtaking the sea. The empty space acts as a boundary, safety zone, margin, and more.
The empty spaces and rests between notes are essential to making music. Without the empty spaces, it would not be music. It would only be a nerve-wracking cacophony.
Written language would be a meaningless jumble of letters and symbols if there were no empty spaces between words, after a complete sentence, or before a new paragraph. Imagine a book with no margins on the page! This empty space helps the brain focus and process what the eye sees on the rest of the page.
Consider the number zero. We may think of zero as signifying nothing and having no value, but would you rather have $10 or $1,000,000? Yes, the zero has value; it is a place holder for the empty space.
Saying NO has value. When we say No to additional responsibilities and demands, we automatically create space in our lives, empty space that gives us room to breathe and room to grow and find our balance.
Uncluttering creates more empty space in our homes and in our lives. Empty, unfilled space relaxes the mind and spirit. Open, unfilled schedules allow the spirit to rejuvenate. Quietness - the sound of nothing - stills the mind so we can better hear "the music of the spheres", the sounds of the natural world, and perhaps, if we listen very carefully, the still, small voice of God.
Quotes to Ponder:
When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. - African Proverb
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix
Only in darkness can one see the stars. ~ RRW
Without resting, dough won't rise. Same for humans. ~ RRW
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. ~ Anne Lamott
A kite without an anchor cannot fly free. ~ Richard P. Toews
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin
Sometimes the only available transportation is a leap of faith.~ Margaret Shepard
The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~ George Bernard Shaw
It is never too late - in fiction or in life - to revise. ~ Nancy Thayer
Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn. ~ Chinese fortune cookie
What is good for the spider is calamitous for the fly. ~ Morticia Addams
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~ Les Brown
We face magnificent opportunities throughout our lives, each of which is brilliantly disguised as an impossible situation. ~ Charles Swindoll
Never base a decision on the advice of someone who doesn't have to live with the consequences. ~ RRW