Tao Te Ching #79: “Therefore sages keep their faith and do not pressure others”

When you harmonize bitter enemies,
yet resentment is sure to linger,
how can this be called good?
Therefore sages keep their faith
and do not pressure others.
So the virtuous see to their promises,
while the virtueless look after precedents.
The Way of heaven is impersonal
it is always with good people.

– Thomas Cleary


In resolving a great dispute
a dispute is sure to remain
how can this be good
sages therefore hold the left marker
and make no claim on others
thus the virtuous oversee markers
the virtueless oversee taxes
the Way of Heaven favors no one
but it always helps the good

– Red Pine


When great wrongs resolved
Leave further wrongs behind—
What good will come of that?
When wise men hold the left half-tally pledge,
They do not press their debtors for their debts.
Men of virtue hold the tally pledge;
Men lacking virtue work pursuing claims.
Heaven’s way does not show kinship favor
But rather joins with good and decent men.

– Moss Roberts