November 18th, 2009

Chapter sixty-six: Lowdown

Lakes and rivers are lords of the hundred valleys.
Why? Because they'll go lower.
So they're the lords of the hundred valleys.

Just so, a wise soul,
wanting to be above other people,
talks to them from below
and to guide them
follows them.

And so the wise soul
predominates without dominating,
and leads without misleading.
And people don't get tired
of enjoying and praising
one who, not competing,
has in all the world
no competition.

Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching.
Interpreted by Ursula K. Le Guin
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goban
  • trevoke

66

Why is the sea king of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them.
Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams.

If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
If he would lead them, he must follow behind.
In this way when the sage rules, the people will not feel oppressed;
When he stands before them, they will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him and will not tire of him.

Because he does not compete,
He does not meet competition.
-
-
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.
-

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.