Culture Corner of Chinese:老子与道德经

Posted by Clarissa on 28. Apr 2010


1167832010-03-15 18:12:29.0 Culture Corner of Chinese:老子与道德经 老子,道德经,教学2280文化课堂/enpproperty-->

CIO Culture Radio Text Reading Exercise Vocabulary Study


MONICA: Hey, Leo, you’ve been sitting on that chair since 7 in the morning, what are you thinking?

LEO: I’m thinking about nothing. Or at least I’m trying to think about nothing.

MONICA: Why would you do that?

LEO: Well, I’m demonstrating Non-doing, Wuwei, you know, the ultimate way of solving all the problems in our lives.

MONICA: Wuwei? In Laozi’s famous work Daodejing?

LEO: Yes. It is a very deep concept. I don’t think you’ll be able to understand. After reading Laozi’s Daodejing, I feel enlightened.

MONICA: How so?

LEO: Well, honestly speaking, I’ve always been troubled by the imperfections in my life. I mean, I know I am a famous CEO in Beijing, in most people’s eyes, I should be very happy already, but… I always suspect that my employees are taking advantage of the company benefits. Like…ordering Pizza through the private line, or talking to their mistresses through MSN. I mean, really, the only hope of my life is my son. And yet, let me tell you, he has never received a mark higher than 50 at school.

MONICA: Wow, it does sound like a lot of trouble that you’re dealing with.

LEO: Oh no, I’m not dealing with them anymore. Not after reading about Wuwei, the Non-doing. You know? So WHAT my employees slack off during work? Don’t you think it’s an indication of how strong my company already is? I mean, how else could it still be existing? In terms of my son, I can only say ignorance is bliss. So no, I’m not going to do anything anymore, everything is juuuust…gonna be fine.

MONICA: Oh ya? So from now on, you’ve decided to sit on this chair, and believe everything will turn out the way you want it to be.

LEO: Yes, isn’t that how the mysterious “Dao” (Daoism) works? By doing nothing, by practicing “Non-doing”, everything ends in harmony.

MONICA: Well, if Laozi knows this is how you interpret his idea of Non-doing, I’m pretty sure he will jump out from his grave just to explain the concept to you. Um…From what I know, Laozi (The Old Master), one of the greatest philosophers in Chinese history, just like… Confucius, but in this case Laozi wrote  “Daodejing”, the book of Virtue, under the request of his King, to enlighten him the way of bringing harmony to his kingdom. That’s when he proposed the idea Wuwei (Non-doing), which emphasizes the nature course of things in Daoism. But I think “Non-doing” does not exactly mean “doing nothing”, because that’s just lazy; however, it could mean “do not force yourself or others into doing anything”.

LEO: What do you mean?

MONICA: Well, for example, it would be unwise if a king uses military force to rule his kingdom; or you try to beat up your son to death everytime he fails a test. I mean, seriously, hitting his head with a badminton racket can only result in a new low on his test score. And you know, you don’t want that.

LEO: Oh, you sound so smart now huh? What do you think I should do then?

MONICA: Oh that, I’m afraid I can’t do, because if I remembered correctly, the first sentence of Daodejing is “道可道,非常道”, meaning the great Dao can never be explained. You read the book last night. You know what I’m saying.

LEO: No I don’t know what you are saying. But you do make me frustrated.

MONICA: See, you are still a fob, crawling in the majestic continent of Daoism. Like a helpless infant without parenthood. Man if you wanna go pro, sometimes you would have to take a step back to lead; or step out to get in. If you know what I mean. cause these, I learned from Daodejing.

LEO: So, why don’t you step out of my office and never get in. Goodbye~



lǎo zǐ



A philosopher in the Spring and Autumn Period founder of Taoism


dào dé jīng

Tao-Te Ching


Tao-Te Ching or Lao-tzu is the main Taoist classics.


wú wéi



The “Quietism” is the essence of Tao-Te Ching said by Laozi to mean active and a way of governing.


zhé xué



Philosophy is a theoretical and systematic view of the world. It is the summarization of natural knowledge, social knowledge and thought, and a study of problems about general and fundamental information, concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.



1. 《老子》成书于于哪个年代?

答案:C. 战国前期

2. 《老子》和《道德经》是同一部著作吗?

答案:A. 是




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