Lao Tzu Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 Tao Te Ching, translation by Gia-Fu Feng (馮家福) and Jane English
1. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things. (Chapter 13: 愛以身為天下，若可託天下。)
#2 Tao Te Ching, translation by James Legge
2. In loving the people and ruling the state, cannot he proceed without any (purpose of) action? (Chapter 10: 愛民治國，能無知乎？)
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Laozi (Chinese: 老子; pinyin: Lǎozǐ; Wade-Giles: Laosi; also Lao Tse, Lao Tu, Lao-Tzu, Lao-Tsu, Laotze, Lao Zi, Laocius, and other variations) was a philosopher of ancient China and is a central figure in Taoism (also spelled “Daoism“). Laozi literally means “Old Master” and is generally considered an honorific. Laozi is revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoism. Taishang Laojun is a title for Laozi in the Taoist religion, which refers to him as “One of the Three Pure Ones”.
Sayings by Lao Tzu
#1 Tao Te Ching Chapter 17: 太上，下知有之；其次，親而譽之；其次畏之；其次侮之。信不足焉，有不信焉。悠兮，其貴言，功成事遂，百姓皆謂我自然。
1. A leader is best when people barely know that he exists; next they loved and praised him; next they fear him; next they despised him. A leader who does not trust enough will not be trusted. A good leader is one who talks little, when the work is accomplished, they will all say, “We did this ourselves.”
#2 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64: 千里之行始於足下。
2. A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.
#3 Raymond B. Blakney’s translation, 1955, Chapter 48, Tao Te Ching: 故取天下者，常以無事；及其有事，不足以取天下。
3. By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.
#4 Tao Te Ching Chapter 56: 知者不言，言者不知。
4. He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.
#5 Stephen Mitchell’s interpretation, 1992, Chapter 33, Tao Te Ching: 知人者智，自知者明。勝人者有力，自勝者強。
5. Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
#6 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 81: 聖人不積，既以為人，己愈有；既以與人，己愈多。
6. The sage has no possessions, the more he does for others, the more he has; the more he gives to others, the more he receives.
#7 Tao Te Ching Chapter 46: 故知之足，常足。
7. One who knows what is enough, will always have enough.
#8 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 44: 知足不辱，知止不殆，可以長久。
8. One who is contented knows no shame, one who knows when to stop is free from danger, long live shall he.
#9 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15: 孰能濁以靜之徐清。孰能安以動之徐生。
9. Who can patiently wait till mud settles and water is clear? Who can sit still till the right action arises by itself?
#10 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9: 持而盈之，不如其已。揣而銳之，不可常保。
10. Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it cannot preserve its sharpness for long.
#11 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 27: 善行，無轍跡；善言，無瑕謫；善計，不用籌策；善閉，無關鍵而不可開；善結，無繩約而不可解。
11. Good deed, leaves no traces; good speech, without reproaches; good plan, needs no plotting; good door, needs no lock, yet cannot be open; good binding requires no knots, yet cannot be untie.
#12 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 23: 故飄風不終朝，驟雨不終日。孰為此者？天地尚不能久，而況於人乎？
12. Since wind does not last the whole morning, shower does not last the whole day. Why is this so? Heaven and Earth cannot make things eternal, let alone man?
#13 Tao te Ching, Chapter 60: 治大國若烹小鮮。以道莅天下，其鬼不神。非其鬼不神，其神不傷人；非其神不傷人，聖人亦不傷人。夫兩不相傷，故德交歸焉。Stephen Mitchell’s translation
13. Governing a nation is like frying a small fish. Center your country in the Tao and evil will have no power. Not that it isn’t there, but you’ll be able to step out of its way. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.
#14 Tao te Ching, Chapter 63: 圖難于其易，為大于其細。天下難事必作于易，天下大事必作于細，是以聖人終不為大，故能成其大。夫輕諾必寡信，多易必多難，是以聖人猶難之。故終無難。James Legge’s translation
14. Anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things.
He who lightly promises is sure to keep but little faith; he who is continually thinking things easy is sure to find them difficult. Therefore the sage sees difficulty even in what seems easy, and so never has any difficulties.
#15 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33: 知足者富，強行者有志，不失其所者久，死而不亡者壽。
15. One who is contented is rich, one who perseveres has aspiration, one who stays where he is endures, one who dies and is not forgotten lives on.
#16 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16: 致虛極；守靜篤。萬物並作，吾以觀復。夫物芸芸，各復歸其根，歸根曰靜，是謂復命；復命曰常，知常曰明。不知常妄作，凶。知常容。容乃公，公乃王，王乃天，天乃道，道乃久，沒身不殆。
16. Empty your mind of all thoughts; be at peace. Observe the processes of all things. They flourish and then return to the root, to stillness; the way of nature. Not knowing this, disaster arises. Knowing this one will be tolerant. Tolerant means openness, openness means kingliness of character, kingliness means heavenly, heavenly means the Tao, Tao means everlasting, without form, cannot perish.
#17 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 57: 故聖人云：我無為而民自化，我好靜而民自正，我無事而民自富，我無欲而民自朴。
17. Therefore the sage said: When I am not biased and the people are reformed on their own, when I enjoy peace and the people are righteous on their own, when I do not create trouble and the people naturally prosperous, when I have no desire and the people live simple.
#18 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 44: 名與身孰親？身與貨孰多？得與亡孰病？是故甚愛必大費，多藏必厚亡。
18. Fame and Life which is more dear to you? Life and wealth which is more vital? Attaining fame and wealth and losing life which is more harmful? Therefore, intense attachment brings sufferings; more possession brings danger.
#19 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31: 兵者，不祥之器，非君子之器。不得已而用之，恬淡為上，勝而不美；而美之者，是樂殺人也。
19. Arms, are instruments of fear, not instruments of the superior man. Wielded only when inevitable, peace is paramount, there is no rejoice in victory as such; to rejoice, is to delight in the slaughter of men.
#20 Tao Te Ching, Chapter 67: 我有三寶，持而寶之。一曰慈，二曰儉，三曰不敢為天下先。慈，故能勇；儉，故能廣；不敢為天下先，故能成器長。
20. I have three treasures, which I prize and hold fast. First is compassion, second is simplicity, third is humility. Compassion, therefore I can be courageous; simplicity, therefore I can be generous; humility, therefore I can be good.
#21 Tao Te ching, Chapter 2: 天下皆知美之爲美，斯惡已；皆知善之爲善，斯不善已。
21. All in the world know beauty only because of ugliness; they know good only because of bad.
#22 Tao Te ching, Chapter 66: 江海所以能为百谷王者，以其善下之，故能为百谷王。Translation: Stephen Mitchell
22. All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.
#23 Tao Te ching, Chapter 65, Translation: Stephen Mitchell [S]
23. Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.
#24 Tao Te ching, Chapter 53: 大道甚夷，而人好径。, Translation: Stephen Mitchell [S]
24. The great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
#25-26 Tao Te ching, Chapter 8, Translation: Stephen Mitchell [S]
25. In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
26. When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.
27. One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.
28. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
29. If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.
30. People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.
31. The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours.
32. A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
33. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
34. To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
35. To see things in the seed, that is genius.
36. Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
37. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
38. If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.
39. If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.
40. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
41. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
42. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
43. A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.
44. Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.
45. Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
46. What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.
47. Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.
48. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.