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All the world says: my teaching (Tao) greatly resembles folly.

Because it is great; therefore it resembles folly.

If it did not resemble folly,

It would have long ago become petty indeed!

I have Three Treasures;

Guard them and keep them safe:

the first is Love.

The second is, Never too much.

The third is, Never be the first in the world.

Through Love, one has no fear;

Through not doing too much, one has amplitude

(of reserve power);

Through not presuming to be the first in the world,

One can develop one's talent and let it mature.

If one forsakes love and fearlessness,

forsakes restraint and reserve power,

forsakes following behind and rushes in front,

He is doomed!

For love is victorious in attack,

And invulnerable in defense.

Heaven arms with love

Those it would not see destroyed.

天下皆谓我道大,似不肖。夫唯大,故似不肖。若肖,久矣其细也夫!我有三宝,持而保之:一曰慈,二曰俭,三曰不敢为天下先。慈,故能勇;俭,故能广;不敢为天下先,故能成器长。今舍慈且勇,舍俭且广,舍后且先,死矣。夫慈,以战则胜,以守则固。天将救之,以慈卫之。

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