51

Tao itself brings forth life,
While virtue, the practice of Tao, helps nurture it.
Things take shape according to their inner nature,
And environment helps perfect them.
This is why everything in the world esteems Tao,
And glorifies virtue.
Yet Tao’s esteem and virtue’s glory,
Are not bestowed upon them.
Rather, they arise naturally.

Tao provides life and nurtures it,
Rears and nourishes it,
Shelters and matures it,
Sustains and protects it.

Though Tao gives life,
It does so without any hint of possessiveness.
It assists without any expectation of return.
It mentors without imposing its authority.

These are the greatest virtues imaginable.

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



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