I had a high school chemistry teacher once.

Mr. Fong was his name.

What I remember most about Mr. Fong’s class was his rather calm response to your typical eleventh grade note-passing and disruptive chit-chat.

Seemingly unfazed by our bad behavior, he would always say …

“There is a time and a place for everything.”

In other words, hey kids, you can pass notes and chat amongst yourselves all you want, but now ain’t the time and this chemistry lab ain’t the place, so cut that shiz out.

Looking back, there may have been more to Mr. Fong’s coolheaded reprimand than what met our teenage eyes and ears.

I’ll probably never know for sure, but our Zen-like chemistry teacher may have been dropping a wisdom bomb on us, straight out of the Tao Te Ching.

Verse 29 of The Tao says this …

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

There is a time (and a place) for everything.

Ponder that for a moment.

There is a time for happiness and a time for sadness. For clarity and uncertainty. Losing and winning. Quarrels and peace. Difficulty and ease.

I’m reminded of the year I was on an antidepressant. I was happy ALL of the time. Which is why I decided to stop taking it. Because it’s difficult to appreciate happiness when there are no times of sadness.

Life is a polarity — ahead, behind, motion, rest, vigor, exhaustion, safety, danger, happiness, sadness.

Polarity is inescapable. There’s peace in seeing those things that appear to be at odds as being part of the whole. Personal transformation happens when we accept our ups and our downs and understand that there is a time for all of it.

Just like Mr. Fong said.

Today on the podcast, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer is back to further explore Verse 29 of the Tao Te Ching. It’s my favorite clip of the week!

You can find today’s full talk here.

Enjoy today’s quote. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!