My words are easy to understand and easy to put into practice.
Yet no one under heaven understands them or puts them into practice.
Greatness has its source in the little.
The low is the foundation of the high.
Develop the strength of a man, but live as gently as a woman.
If the people are simple and free from desire, then the clever ones never dare to interfere.
The Tao is like an empty bowl,
yet it may be used without ever needing to be filled.
It is the deep and unfathomable source of the ten thousand things.
Good words are appreciated.
Good deeds are accepted as gifts.
When desires are restrained there will be peace,
and then all under heaven will be at rest.
Handle the difficult while it is still easy.
Cultivate the great while it is still small.
Giving life without claiming authority,
benefiting without demanding gratitude,
guiding without control.
This is called hidden Virtue.
Better to stop in time than to fill to the brim.
Hone a blade to the sharpest point, and it will soon be blunt.
Fill your house with gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Be prideful about wealth and position, and you bring disasters upon yourself.
Retire when the work is done.
This is the way of heaven.
The True Person is detached and humble
and to the world appears confusing.
The people all strain their eyes and ears,
yet the True Person remains childlike.
Whoever wishes to take over the world will not succeed.
The world is a sacred vessel and nothing should be done to it.
Whoever tries to tamper with it will mar it.
Whoever tries to grab it will lose it.