Ants often ask the question, do you still want this food? Termites often ask the question, do you still want this wooden structure? Everything is tested. Nothing persists without maintenance — structure must be defended. This goes for relationships, ideas, goals, food, shelter, anything. When no longer nurtured, formations disintegrate.
But there’s a balance: while effort is needed for maintenance, effort is not needed for decay, it’s just the lack of maintenance. For instance, painful memories, unpleasant ideas, haunting grievances, and persistent anxiety, crumble without upkeep. Without our efforts, these sources of dissatisfaction cannot exist. In other words: to stop suffering, stop hurting yourself.
Or in fortune-cookie form:
That which you seek must be maintained, but do not maintain that which you do not seek.