Only that which is humbled can be improved.
Only that which is broken can be attended to.
Only that which is emptied can be filled up.
Only that which is worn out can be rejuvenated.
Only one who possesses little can ever hope to be satisfied—
This is why those who clutch at success, wealth and status
Come to feel as if deprived.
Therefore, in order that he can help husband the world,
The sage embraces a unity of opposites.
In order to attend to its totality,
He does not focus on himself.
By not claiming to be right,
He becomes righteous.
By not admiring himself,
He merits admiration.
By not being arrogant,
He emerges as a natural leader.
It is only because he does not fight with the world,
That the world embraces him with ease.
The old masters said, “He who surrenders, wins.”
This was not just a clever saying.
He who humbles himself,
Finds a fount of power within,
And a world of welcome without,
So he is able to overcome anything.
You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here
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