Tao Te Ching #72: “Don’t repress how people live”

When the people are not awed by authority,
then great authority is attained.
Their homes are not small to them,
their livelihood is not tiresome.
Just because they do not tired of it,
it is not tiresome to them.

Therefore sages know themselves
but do not see themselves.
They take care of themselves
but do not exalt themselves.
So they take one
and leave the other.

– Thomas Cleary


When people no longer fear authority
a greater authority will appear
don’t restrict where people dwell
don’t repress how people live
if they aren’t repressed
they won’t protest
sages therefore know themselves
but don’t reveal themselves
they love themselves
but don’t exalt themselves
thus they pick this over that

– Red Pine


When people dread not the powers that be,
A greater dread is on the way.

Encroach not on their domain;
Do not burden down their lives.
Only of those who bear bearing
Will the people bear the burden.
This is why wise men who govern
Know themselves, show themselves not,
Conserve themselves, esteem themselves not:
Rejecting these, preferring those.

– Moss Roberts