Oceans and mountain streams

Effective leaders know how to get out of the way and let their people get on with things. By remaining humble and acting only for the common good rather than their own personal glory, they automatically attract people towards them like an ocean or river draws in the waters of a mountain stream.

「江海所以能為百谷王者,以其善下之,故能為百谷王。是以欲上民必以言下之,欲先民必以身後之。是以聖人處上而民不重,處前而民不害。是以天下樂推而不厭,以其不爭,故天下莫能與之爭。」
The river and the sea can be the kings of the mountain streams,
Because they are good at lying below them.
That is why they can be the kings of the mountain streams.
For this reason, if the wise want to stand above the people,
They must speak to them from below.
If they want to lead the people,
They must follow them from behind.
In this way, when the wise stand above the people,
They are not oppressed.
When the wise lead the people,
They are not obstructed.
That is why the whole world will delight in praising them;
And never grow tired of them.
Because the wise do not compete with others,
Nobody in the world competes with them.

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