“Horses” and “Flexibility”

Discuss “Horses” and “Flexibility” from the Dao De Jing.

What is the primary “lesson” or “takeaway” from each of the poem(s)?

Questions for “Horses”:

Why do you think that the author of “Horses” thinks there is “no greater mistake than following desire”? What are the possible mistakes of following your desires? What is the difference between contentment and happiness? How does this poem differ from American values?

Questions for “Flexibility”:

How does this poem counter American culture’s fascination with strength and “never giving up”? Think of other examples in nature, when flexibility is more important to survival than strength. Is it true that “only the strong survive”? When in life have you found out how important flexibility is?

Sample Solution