Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Line by Line - Verse 17, Lines 6-8

How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words! Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!'
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

When actions are performed
Without unnecessary speech,

People say, "We did it!"

~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Proceeding calmly, valuing their words
Task accomplished, matter settled
The people all say, "We did it naturally"

~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

The Masters don't give orders; they work with everybody else.
When the job's done,
people are amazed at what they accomplished.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
When all the tools are available and the framework has been laid, people tend not to need direction nor instruction in getting things done. They see what is before them and then they do it!

This method is how we can help along successful conclusions WITHOUT actively directing them. It is by nurturing ourselves and others. It is by respecting and trusting ourselves and others. And it is by identifying the contours of the flow of life and moving with that flow that we find we can accomplish much without extraneous effort.

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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