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Tao Te Ching Chapter 66 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





That whereby the rivers and seas are able to receive the homage and tribute of all the valley streams, is their skill in being lower than they;--it is thus that they are the kings of them all. So it is that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his

words below them, and, wishing to be before them, places his person behind them.


In this way though he has his place above them, men do not feel his weight, nor though he has his place before them, do they feel it an injury to them.


Therefore all in the world delight to exalt him and do not weary of him. Because he does not strive, no one finds it possible to strive with him.

All streams flow to the sea

because it is lower than they are.

Humility gives it its power.


If you want to govern the people,

you must place yourself below them.

If you want to lead the people,

you must learn how to follow them.


The Master is above the people,

and no one feels oppressed.

She goes ahead of the people,

and no one feels manipulated.

The whole world is grateful to her.

Because she competes with no one,

no one can compete with her.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell

















 

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