Taoism's value to us, I think, is in challenging our values and ideas regarding how we should live. Key to Taoism is that the highest good for a human -- to be fully in accord with the Tao -- is an internal good. In the West, we have increasingly lost all sense of internal goods; which is perhaps why so many of us are obsessed with the accumulation of external goods.
To be fully in accord with the Tao is to live from a deep, abiding contentment.
This is not the contentment of a good meal or any other momentary state of
contentment, but a contentment from the base of one's being. If one's goal is
to find the North Pole, once found any further movement is away from the goal;
so with Taoist contentment -- any movement departs from it. Thus the Taoist
emphasizes non-activity, non-progress.
The secular Westerner values curiosity, activity, accomplishment -- his or her
perpetual boast is "I am so busy." The Taoist writes: "And even
though the next country is so close that people can hear its roosters crowing
and its dogs barking, they are content to die of old age without ever having
gone to see it." It is hard to imagine a sentiment more alien to our
modern Western view than this.
The cultivation of the Tao -- the way to Taoist contentment -- is a mysterious
activity/passivity. So many people who adhere to the way of science and
the secular have no patience for mysterious things. They believe in what they
see and touch. Such people may pay lip service to the Tao, but they are
unlikely to sow their being in that deep, dark soil.