The Taoist Trader: Tao Te Ching (Chapter 7)
Heaven and earth last forever.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They are unborn,
So ever living.
The sage stays behind, thus he is ahead.
He is detached, thus at one with all.
Through selfless action, he attains fulfillment.
(By Lao Tsu, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
The line “Heaven and earth last forever” suggests the importance of having eternal values. The impermanence of money and even the health and life of the body shows the need for values that make a difference. That’s why Buddhism stresses compassion and Christianity stresses loving your neighbor as yourself. The line “Through selfless action, he attains fulfillment” reiterates this point.
Since trading is a zero-sum game (one winner, one loser), would selfless action be giving money to your opponent through losing in a trade? If it were, not many traders would willingly practice it. And yet how many traders unwillingly practice it? How could selfless action be applied to trading?
Give 10% of your winnings to a charity of your choice. Your soul will be overjoyed (“he attains fulfillment”). You will be developing an unattachment to money (“He is detached, thus one with all”). When I think of being “one with all,” the song “We are Family” comes to mind. So you are behind 10% in your profit but ahead in fulfillment, joy and love. “The sage stays behind, thus he is ahead.”