The extremes of work and whimsy
Entail each other,
Like those of tranquility and tension.

The sage walks all day,
But never abandons his cargo.
Even though there are magnificent sights to distract him,
He remains calm and single-minded.
It is only when his duty is done
That he can go back to being unconcerned and aloof.

Similarly, a great ruler cannot indulge in frivolity,
Else he will lose his focus.
And he cannot allow himself to abandon his self-control,
Else he will lose all of his control.

You may order or download The Tao Te Ching here.
List of verses here


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