March 17th, 2013



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.

Chapter 66

6.1 The reason why rivers and seas
       can be lords of the hundred valleys
       is that they lower themselves to them all;
       therefore they can be lords of the hundred valleys.
66.2 So when sages wish to rise above people,
       they lower themselves to them in their speech.
      When they want to precede people,
       they go after them in status.
66.3 So when sages rule,
       people don't take it gravely.
       And when sages are in the forefront,
       people don't attack them.
       Therefore the world happily backs them
       and does not tire of them.
66.4 Because they do not contend,
       no one in the world can contend with them.
Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation