39

In ancient times everything was unified by Tao.
Because of this:
The sky was clear,
The earth was settled,
The air was energized,
The rivers were abundant,
Nature flourished,
And rulers could govern virtuously.

But without this unity:
The sky collapses,
The earth sinks,
The air dissipates,
The rivers dry up,
All withers,
And rulers are laid low.

Thus to achieve nobility,
One must recognize a dependence upon the humble.
To reach great heights,
Roots must be tended to assiduously.
To win enduring support,
Great leaders must openly exhibit their humanity.
After all, there is weakness in power, and power in weakness—
Rather being than shiny and precious as jewelry,
Be common and steadfast as stone.

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



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