As soon as the people no longer respect authority,
A far more insidious force will descend upon society.

Do not encroach on the territory of others,
And do not reduce their quality of life.
It is only when their leaders don’t disturb the people,
That they are not prone to disturbance.

It is for this reason that the sages know their strengths,
Yet don’t show them off.
Though they have great self-respect,
They do not stoke their self-regard.
By rooting out a sense of superiority,
They cultivate a strong relationship with their fellows.

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


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