Four causes of joy
Lieh Tzu used to wear a rough fur coat with a rope round his waist.
He wandered from place to place,
strumming a lute and singing.
One day someone asked him
“Why are you always so joyful?’
‘I have four causes for joy.
The First is that I am a human being,
so I can enjoy all the pleasures of which the human body is capable.
The Second is that I am a man,
so I can admire the beauties of women.
The Third is that I have now attained old age,
so I have had a vast quantity of pleasure,
compared with people who die young.
And the Fourth is that I am now ready to die,
so have no fears or worries.
366 readings from Taoism and confucianism
The Global Spirit Library