Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ricky Nelson, A Garden Party and the Tao of Law

When you are content to simply be yourself, and don’t compete or compare, everyone will respect you.” So says the Tao te Ching.

And, in my view, if you “are content to simply be yourself," you will be a much better lawyer. Because, if you are content, comfortable in your own skin, you will give advice based on the facts and the law – not tailoring your advice to get someone’s approval. Not telling the client what she wants to hear. Not doing whatever it takes to win even when you know damn well your case stinks and so does your client.

This same section of the Tao te Ching says:

In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous.”

Neither of those is possible if you are trying to please others. And how often are lawyers “fair and generous” for that matter.

One path to becoming “content to simply be yourself” is mindfulness about which I’ve written other blog posts so I won’t belabor it here; it's a quick read though.

Finally, as that great Taoist Ricky Nelson sang so long ago in "Garden Party" (lyrics):

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
 You see, ya can't please everyone so ya got to please yourself.” 

Thanks for reading.