Bend to remain whole;
warp to remain true.
The empty becomes filled;
everything old becomes new again.
The small will gain;
the great will become confused.

Therefore, the Consultant holds to integrity,
and lets the world follow him.

He does not promote himself, therefore he stands out.
He does not show off, therefore he looks good.
He does not brag, therefore he finds success.
He is not proud, therefore he can endure.

Well, it is only because he does not compete,
that nobody can compete with him.

The old saying, of the oak and the reed, comes close:
bend to the storm, remain unbroken, and return.


Due in part to this chapter, I’ve tried to be conscientious in avoiding spammy (and otherwise-obnoxious) self-promotion. So far, though, I have found no success…

chapter notes:

Again, I have substituted Western sayings where they have the same sense as the Eastern ones. In particular, everybody seems to have an old saying about the oak and the reed, so I have converted the unspecific Chinese to the specific species.