Tao 30

When people must be influenced,
It is best to avoid force.

To wield the rifle takes two hands,
And marks the bearer as a target for the oppressed.
This leads inevitably to larger conflict,
Which leaves tasks undone and pockets empty.

Do what must be done
And let this essential nature be its own glory.
In achieving a goal,
Avoid all unnecessary force,
Forget your pride and do not boast.
This is the natural way.

Extremes of force
Bring with them forceful resistance.
These things do not last.
Best to stay with Tao’s balance.


All 81 chapters of our version of the Tao Te Ching are available online for free here. If you are so inclined, an updated version of our translation is available as an e-book, here.

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