Tao Te Ching #24: “Those on tiptoe don’t stand up”

Those on tiptoe don’t stand up,
those who take long strides don’t walk;
those who see themselves are not perceptive,
those who assert themselves are not illustrious;
those who glorify themselves have no merit,
those who are proud of themselves do not last.
On the Way, these are called overconsumption
and excess activity.
Some people disdain them,
so those with the Way abstain.

– Thomas Cleary


Those who tiptoe don’t stand
those who stride don’t walk
those who consider themselves don’t appear
those who flatter themselves achieve nothing
those who parade themselves don’t lead
travelers have a saying
too much food and a tiring pace
some things are simply bad
those who possess the Way thus shun them

– Red Pine


How long can you stand up on your toes?
How far walk with stretching stride?
Self-display does not illumine;
Self-justifying sets no pattern;
Self-advancement won’t succeed;
Self-assertion cannot lead.
In terms of Dao, as has been said,
“Like food discarded, excess actions
Provoke repugnance.”
Dao-keepers will indeed avoid them.

– Moss Roberts