The following poem is from the ancient book known as the Tao Te Ching (pronounced “Dow Duh Ching”), written by the mysterious figure Lao Tzu, over 2500 years ago. It is one of two foundational Daoist texts — the Zhuangzi being the other — and is regarded by some as one of the deepest, most wisdom-rich works ever written.
This passage is about letting people flourish by showing them the way. It’s about leading, but not ruling. It’s about living in accordance with our nature. From Mahatma Gandhi to Abraham Lincoln, many famous names throughout history have made use of the message being portrayed here, to change the world for the better.
Te honors them
Events form them
Energy completes them.
Therefore the ten thousand beings
Honor Tao and respect Te.
Tao is honoured
Te is respected
Because they do not give orders
But endure in their own nature
Tao bears them and Te nurses theme,
Bears them without owning them,
Helps them without coddling them,
Rears them without ruling them.
This is called original Te.