The most precious gift

The way doesn’t discriminate between people. It allows both the good and the bad to draw whatever resources they can from it – though of course those who follow it will get the most out of it.

That’s why the most precious gift a new ruler or high official can receive is an understanding of the way. With this, they can govern for the benefit of all their people.

「道者,萬物之奧。善人之寶,不善人之所保。美言可以市尊,美行可以加人。人之不善,何棄之有。故立天子,置三公,雖有拱璧,以先駟馬,不如坐進此道。古之所以貴此道者,何也。不曰:求以得,有罪以免耶,故為天下貴。」
The Way is the source of all things.
It provides treasure for the good and refuge for the bad.
Fine words can gain respect from others.
Noble deeds can impact others.
If a person is bad, why should they be rejected?
So when an emperor is crowned,
Or when the three ministers are appointed;
Instead of sending gifts of jade carried by a team of four horses,
Remain still and give the Way.
Why did the ancients prize the Way so much?
Did they not say:
Seek and you will find;
Sin and you will be forgiven.
For this reason, the Way is prized by the whole world.

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