81 Chapter Translations & Interpretations

Chapter 17 – Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists

Preeminent is one whose subjects barely know he exists;
The next is one to whom they feel close and praise;
The next is one whom they fear;
The lowest is one whom they despise.
When the ruler’s trust is wanting,
there will be no trust in him.
Cautious, he values his words.
When his work is completed and his affairs finished,
the common people say, “We are like this by ourselves.

Support Author: Victor H. Mair
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Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu

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