#Tao 38

The wisest do not strive,
Therefore are most effective.

The lackluster never cease striving,
And therefore achieve little.
The wisest never force, knowing
Force gets nothing done.

The wisest bring compassion
Because they do not think about it.
The wisest create justice
Because they do not worry about it.

Those concerned only with propriety
Have reason to coerce others.
Those concerned only with ritual
Must use naked force.

So, only in not striving
Are we followers of The Way;
Only in not forcing
Do we lead appropriately;
Only in not coercing do
We encourage ritual.

Ritual is, after all,
Only a show
Of commitment,

A pretense toward The Way,
And a foolish one at that.

This is why the wisest
Pay attention to the real,
Keeping watch on the fruit,
Not the flower, leaving
The one, taking the other.


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