Monday, December 27, 2010

Line by Line - Verse 17, Line 4

in the next they despised them.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

Then that which is despised.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

The next level, people despise them
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

The worst leader is the one who is hated.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
From a certain point of view, it is far better merely to be feared than outright despised. Frequently, those who live in abject fear are paralyzed -- unable/unwilling to challenge. A leader who thoroughly is hated, however, will motivate many to set aside their fear to fight back in some way or manner.

Hate is a very powerful force indeed. It can serve as the impetus for unspeakable acts and atrocities. It can cause good people to do very, very bad things.

But while hate projected outward certainly can cause a person to injure another, the real victim of hate is the one possesses it. Like a cancer, hate has a tendency to multiply and carve out a hollow shell in our inner being. Consequently, a leader who is the catalyst for hate serves as the engine for harmony to be lost.

To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.

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