Leftovers and tumors

Very similar sentiments to those expressed in Chapter 22, though with an even more acerbic sting in the tail. Laozi must have seen more than his fair share of such posers in his position as head librarian for the Eastern Zhou Dynasty court.

Let’s hope that Laozi is right in saying that modesty has its own rewards.

「企者不立,跨者不行。自見者不明,自是者不彰;自伐者無功,自誇者不長。其於道也,曰:餘食贅行。物或惡之,故有道者不處。」
People who stand on tiptoe are not steady.
People who take the longest strides cannot walk far.
People who show off are not enlightened.
People who aggrandize themselves are not distinguished.
People who boast about themselves are not given any credit.
People who seek glory are not fit to be leaders.
From the perspective of the Way,
They are like leftovers from a meal or tumors in a body.
All creatures detest them.
Thus followers of the Way avoid them.

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