The duck’s legs are short: you can’t lengthen them without making her suffer.
The crane’s legs are long; you can’t shorte them without causing pain.
What is long needs no cutting off;
what is short needs no stretching.
When you realize this,
you can let the world go its own way.
Do you think you know what’s best?
Do you think the world should conform to your way of thinking?
All these benevolent people-
how much worrying they do!
Since ancient times,
what a lot of fuss and upheaval
the benefactors of humanity have caused!
Even with the bet of intention, when we try to force our opinions on others we cause them some amount of pain. This delusion of “our way” is it really for the benefit of others or is it our own ego? Our big “I” screaming that “This is the way! I believe it…”
How often do we try to cut a crane down into a duck without thought to what makes the crane survive? Or stretch a duck into a crane without thought to what makes the duck so well adapted in its environment? Both share the same pond. Both experience the same flow. The duck seemingly floats on top with ease while a flurry of activity occurs below the waves. The crane gingerly steps over the rocks.
Meanwhile the koi giggle…
image via Japan Dave