What is rooted is easy to nourish

What is recent is easy to correct.

What is brittle is easy to break.

What is small is easy to scatter.

 

Prevent trouble before it arises.

Put things in order before they exist.

The giant pine tree

grows from a tiny sprout.

The journey of a thousand miles

starts from beneath your feet.

 

Rushing into action, you fail.

Trying to grasp things, you lose them.

Forcing a project to completion,

you ruin what was almost ripe.

 

Therefore the Master takes action

by letting things take their course.

He remains as clam

at the end as at the beginning.

He has nothing,

thus has nothing to lose.

What he desire is non-desire;

what he learns is to unlearn.

He simply reminds people

of who they have always been.

He cares about nothing but the Tao.

Thus he can care for all things.

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