Tao Te Ching Chapter 64

64th Chapter

When things are in order they are easily maintained or managed.
When signs of harm are not yet manifest they are easily prevented.
When things (or ideas) are brittle they are easily shattered.
When things are diluted they are easily dissipated.
Prevent it before it happens; manage it before disorder takes shape.
For two trees to grow entangled, they must grow together from the sapling stage (bonds of friendship are grown through careful nourishment).
A nine story tall platform must begin with piling up dirt (great virtues are accumulated through daily practice from the heart).
A thousand mile journey must start with a step from where you are (A spiritual journey moves further with daily improvement).

The more one’s actions are based on self-concern, the more likely he fails.
The more he is attached to a particular way of doing things, the more likely he loses people’s heart.
Therefore, a sage doesn’t have self-concern, thus he does not fail.
He won’t insist on his own way of doing things; thus, he does not lose.
People usually fail right before success.
If one can give as much attention to people’s needs from the heart as to the process, then there will be no failure.

Therefore, a sage does not have the desires that others do; he does not treasure the same things as others; he learns the things which others do not learn; he corrects the mistakes of others without highlighting them, he assists others according to the needs of their heart and avoids pursuing his own wishes .

Implications from the Holy Books

Governments should fully acquaint themselves with the conditions of those they govern, and confer upon them positions according to desert and merit. It is enjoined upon every ruler and sovereign to consider this matter with the utmost care that the traitor may not usurp the position of the faithful, nor the despoiler rule in the place of the trustworthy. . ──   Bahá’u’lláh, Splendors

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