July 19th, 2010

Chapter 66

Rivers and seas become the leading powers over all the waters from the highlands
Because they place themselves in low positions below the other waters.
That is why rivers and seas become the leading powers over all the waters from the highlands.
Thus, when the ruler wishes to become the leader of his people,
He first humbles himself before them.
When he wishes to be in front of his people, he first remains in back of them.
When he is in a high position, people do not feel his authority.
When he is in front of his people, they do not feel any obstruction.
Therefore, all the people want to support him, and no one dislikes him.
It is because he never contends with others that others are unable to quarrel with him.

                      Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


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.