For every parable and inspiring quote, there’s another with the opposite idea.
Should you ‘look before you leap’ or ‘strike while the iron is hot’?
No guidance is appropriate for every situation, no matter how attractive rules and commandments seem.
Morality itself is culturally dependent and contextual. You have to construct your own ethical framework, within the temporal morality of the society.
Returning to your principles can offer you great guidance, yet not everyone knows how to express their principles. Aphorisms serve to remind and express general principles, but it is still up to the individual to manage conflicting ideals.
Returning to our deepest values and our te ensures we’re walking our path in harmony with Tao, but there’s no guarantee that others will see it that way. Other people may guide us, praise us, criticise us, bless or curse us, but only we can walk our path.
Image credit: Juska Wendland