Chuang Tzu Poem: Apologies

If a man steps on a stranger’s foot

In the marketplace,

He makes a polite apology

And offers an explanation:

“This place is so crowded.”

 

If an elder brother

Steps on his younger brother’s foot

He says, “Sorry.”

And that is that.

 

If a parent steps on his child’s foot

Nothing is said at all.

 

The greatest politeness

Is free from all formality.

Perfect conduct is free of concern.

Perfect wisdom is unplanned.

Perfect love is without demonstrations.

Perfect sincerity offers no guarantee.

 

 -chuang tzu stories

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