So it is that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his words below them,Few people respond positively to meanness. If we yell, screech and abuse others, they are less likely to pay us much heed. If we hold power over them, they may acquiesce to our commands, but they will do what we require IN SPITE OF US.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~
If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~
Thus if sages wish to be over people
They must speak humbly to them
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~
If you want to teach people,
don't talk down to them.
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
In my opinion, what is lacking in modern society is the spirit of nurturance. More often than not, societal institutions tend to tear people down, instead of building people up. These institutions speak to us from positions of ruthless power, not from a foundation of humility.
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