Every time I read the cab ride post on zen moments website, tears would fill my eyes. Recently I viewed the video and then the Four Chambers film on compassion (the cab ride), courage, vision and wonder.However the four stories of loss better illustrate Chuang Tzu’s teachings on dying and death, disability and useless.
The cab ride was about a cab driver taking an elderly lady from her home to the nursing home for hospice. The ride was her last chance to see the outside world.
“Nature gives us form, belabors us with living, eases us with old age and lets us rest with death. Therefore if life is good, death is good as well. ” Chuang Tzu.
We all go through the seasons of life whether our life is long or short, dying young in sickness is not much different from aging. We may go on the ride ourselves, as companions to family and friends or strangers like the cab driver. If we can feel and understand the journey, we can ride with charm and compassion to ourselves or others.
The second story was about a little boy who lost his limbs at three. I had read “Life without Limits” by Nick Vujicic and another book by a Korean with no limbs many years ago. But how little Austin showed his schoolmates that he could do what they thought he could not was a real inspiration. The way Austin’s mother described how she felt about the entire experience of loss opened my eyes, mind and heart. It’s more than courage, it is being enlightened by loss and discrimination.Instead of mourning over what cannot be done, think what can be done at the moment.
“Think one and not what’s lost.” Chuang Tzu.
The third story about how abandoned race horses were used to help withdrawn children who may be considered useless by many is not just vision to me, it is appreciating everyone and everything around us; then we can see the potential to do good to someone or something and put it to good use.
“Use of No Use is Great Use.” Chuang Tzu.
The final chamber is not wonder to me but untapped potential we tend to overlook in children and unexamined helplessness on challenging health conditions.
The English girl published her book on epilepsy at the age of seven because her mother suffered from epilepsy and thought maybe other children can learn from her experience. Adults think children would be useless in understanding and helping in complicated health handicaps, but children surprise us if we let them.
And finally Ben Carson shared how he spent time on useless knowledge like classical music that ended up getting him in medical school. Nothing is “Useless Knowledge”.