Dao De Jing 8
The highest virtue is like water.
Water’s virtue comes from its benefit to the ten thousand things;
without striving against this, it settles in the low place all men despise, and so is like the Dao.
The virtue of a residence comes from its site,
that of the mind comes from depth,
that of friendship from kindness,
that of words from truth,
that of governing from promoting peace and order,
that of work from competence,
that of action from timeliness.
In the absence of conflict there is no blame.
Translation by John Hayes
The translation is is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Unlike with my original poetry & poetry translations, I don’t asset a copyright claim on my translation of the Dao De Jing. It may be freely used under the terms of the Creative Commons license.
Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Scholar by a Waterfall” – Ma Yuan (Chinese, active ca. 1190–1225), Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279): ink & color on silk