Contract negotiations can be very contentious with both sides feeling that they have left money on the table or given away too many concessions.
Laozi advised that in such cases the wise should take the high road by honoring their side of the agreement even if the other party fails to meet their part of it. Although taking the high road might prove disadvantageous in the short term, in the long term this approach will help build trust and cooperation between the two parties. At the very least, it will minimize the need to get the lawyers involved!
After two bitter enemies have made peace,
There is sure to be some bitterness left behind.
How can this be considered good?
That’s why the wise honor their part of an agreement
But do not demand payment from the other party.
People with Virtue fulfill their obligations;
People without Virtue require others to fulfill their obligations with the zeal of a tax collector.
The Way of Heaven has no favorites.
It always stays with the good people.