Daodejing 17

In the early days
people did not know
they had rulers.

Then they began to know,
but still had respect.

Next leaders were feared;
then despised. When leaders
do not follow The Way
of the creative universe
people do not trust them.

How unsure those ancient leaders appeared,
because they took their words seriously.

They achieved what they did because
people said, “We are doing what we wish.”

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