Chapter 61. Virtue of humbleness
A kingdom, like a stream, becomes great by being lowly. It becomes the center, where all the world aims for.
Similarly is with woman: She wins the man by constant calmness.
And calmness is the same as durability.
That is why a great state by lowering itself to those who are beneath it can get to rule them.
Likewise a small state by submitting to some larger one can guarantee itself its allegiance.
This is how one acquires fidelity with its humbleness, and the other acquires favor.
A great nation wants to have small ones within its reach of control and to support them, but a small state wants to become allied and serve the bigger one.
This is how both become satisfied, but only if the larger one wants to lower itself.
- Mr. Ervast: ‘Undoubtably many considers that in this chapter Laozi is too “optimistic”‘
Own translation from 1925 Finnish translation by Pekka Ervast (ISBN 951-8995-01-X) with kind permission of Ruusu-Ristin Kirjallisuusseura ry.