Lao Tzu’s conversation, which cautions against a fixation on goal-setting, fits perfectly with the concepts of minimalism and anti-consumerism. To teach this concept, I would reach back to whom many consider to be the original minimalist, Henry David Thoreau. An excerpt from Walden, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For“ would pair well with Lao Tzu’s conversation. I would introduce the conversation first, asking students to explain in their own words what they feel Lao Tzu meant with his quote, then apply this idea after reading Thoreau’s belief that life’s meaning will emerge only when we avoid the rush and hurry that modernity forces on us.
Level: Secondary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American Literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman