Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Line by Line - Verse 69, Line 9

To do that is near losing (the gentleness) which is so precious.
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

By underestimating the enemy, I almost lost what I value.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Underestimating the enemy almost made me lose my treasures
~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

[No corresponding line]
~ Ron Hogan rendition, from Beatrice.com, 2004 ~
Derek Lin takes this line and applies it to current society.
Many people believe that overwhelming aggression wins respect. This belief forms the basis of the "shock and awe" military strategy. History shows that it simply does not work. Aggression succeeds only in planting the seeds of subsequent retaliation. It is wisdom and restraint that win respect and admiration, not force.
Hence, the so-called "War on Terror" cannot be won. It only plants the seeds for more terror by all sides!

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