Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)
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When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,
There arises the recognition of ugliness.
When they all know the good as good,
There arises the recognition of evil.
The best [man] is like water.
Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them.
It dwells in [lowly] places that all disdain.
This is why it is so near to Tao.
He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire.
Have few desires.
To have little is to possess.
To have plenty is to be perplexed.
He who knows others is wise;
He who know himself is enlightened.
When the highest type of men hear Tao,
They diligently practice it.
When the average type of men hear Tao,
They half believe in it.
When the lowest type of men hear Tao,
They laugh heartily at it.
Without the laugh, there is no Tao.
The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.
Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.
There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
And there is not greater disaster than greed.
The more laws and order are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.
I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.
When armies are mobilized and issues are joined,
The man who is sorry over the fact will win.
To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.
The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure.
The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.