Dao De Jing 19
Reject sagacity, abandon expertise
& the people will benefit a hundred times over;
reject altruism, abandon morality,
and the people will return to benevolence;
reject ingenuity, abandon profit,
& thieves will no longer steal.
But these three are superficial & not in themselves sufficient.
Thus follow this directive:
manifest simplicity, embrace modesty,
diminish self-interest, curtail desire.
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:
“Xuan Yuan Inquires of the Dao”, scroll, color on silk, 32 x 152 cm. Xuan Yuan is the given name of the Yellow Emperor. This painting is based on the story that the Yellow Emperor went out to the Kongtong Mountains to meet with the famous Daoist sage Guangchengzi. Ming Dynasty.