Power flows down
to every level of existence
like a river to the ocean.
from lying perfectly still
and waiting for power
to come your way.
If you yield to someone
less powerful than yourself,
you will be in a position
to influence them.
If you submit to someone
more powerful than yourself,
you create an opportunity
to get your own way.
So if you want to get ahead,
lay low and bide your time.
That way, everybody's happy.
Every living thing
gets its strength from Dao.
Good people respect the value of Dao.
The wicked and foolish don't,
but Dao provides for them anyway.
Some people gain power and prestige through fancy words,
others through great deeds.
But Dao is available to everyone,
not just the powerful.
So don't look down on anybody.
When people become powerful,
and everybody lines up
to kiss their ass,
sit still and stay right with Dao.
Why have the Masters
always respected Dao?
Because when you get right with Dao,
you can always find
what you need to get by,
and trouble can never find you.
Don't work so hard.
Learn to appreciate everyday life.
Pay attention to details.
Start small and work your way up.
When people give you trouble, let it slide.
Break everything down to its essentials.
Get the job done before it becomes a chore.
With the right preparation,
can be completed with ease;
every major project
consists of simple steps.
The Masters don't take on
more than they can handle,
which is why
they can do just about anything.
more than you can deliver,
and don't underestimate the task:
You'll only make things harder for yourself.
The Masters are always aware
of the difficulties involved,
which is why
they never have to deal with them.
It's easy to maintain balance.
Trouble can be nipped in the bud.
Fragile things break easily,
and small things are easy to lose.
Deal with the situation
before it becomes a problem.
Keep everything straight
so it can't get messed up.
Every tree was once a seed.
Every skyscraper started out
with a shovel of dirt.
And--stop me if you've heard this one before--
a journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.
When you try too hard,
you defeat your own purpose.
Cling to stuff, and you will suffer loss.
The Masters make no effort,
so they never fail.
They aren't attached to things,
so they never feel loss.
People often screw up
when the job's nearly done.
Pay as much attention to the finishing touches
as you do to the initial steps,
and you won't screw up like that.
The Masters try to be free from desire.
They don't collect precious things.
They don't cling to any beliefs.
They pay attention to what everybody else ignores.
They help the world get right with Dao,
but don't try to change a thing.
In ancient times,
leaders who were right with Dao
didn't teach everybody
how to become enlightened.
They kept people's lives simple.
People who know too much
can't be taught anything.
Leaders who try to be clever
always screw things up.
Leaders who keep things simple
always make things right.
If you get that, you'll understand
the mysterious power of Dao.
That kind of power is so deep, so extensive,
it penetrates into every level of existence.
An ocean is greater
than the hundred rivers that flow into it,
and all it does is wait to receive what they bring.
If you want to teach people,
don't talk down to them.
If you want to lead them,
find out where they want to go.
People love leaders
who make them feel safe
without smothering them.
They'll always support a leader like that,
and because he doesn't try
to compete with anybody,
nobody is able to compete with him.
Dao De Jing Page 16 Chapters 67 - 70
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