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Therefore,
A good soldier does not inspire fear;
A good fighter does not display aggression;
A good conqueror does not engage in battle;
A good leader does not exercise authority. (来源:英语学习门户网站EnglishCN.com)

This is the value of unimportance;
This is how to win the cooperation of others;
This to how to build the same harmony that is in nature.

 


69. Ambush
There is a saying among soldiers:
It is easier to lose a yard than take an inch.
In this manner one may deploy troops without marshalling them,
Bring weapons to bear without exposing them,
Engage the foe without invading them,
And exhaust their strength without fighting them.

There is no worse disaster than misunderstanding your enemy;
To do so endangers all of my treasures;
So when two well matched forces oppose eachother,
The general who maintains compassion will win.

 


70. Individuality
My words are easy to understand
And my actions are easy to perform
Yet no other can understand or perform them.
My words have meaning; my actions have reason;
Yet these cannot be known and I cannot be known.

We are each unique, and therefore valuable;
Though the sage wears coarse clothes, his heart is jade.

 


71. Limitation
Who recognizes his limitations is healthy;
Who ignores his limitations is sick.
The sage recognizes this sickness as a limitation.
And so becomes immune.

 

72. Revolution
When people have nothing more to lose,
Then revolution will result.
Do not take away their lands,
And do not destroy their livelihoods;
If your burden is not heavy then they will not shirk it.

The sage maintains himself but exacts no tribute,
Values himself but requires no honours;
He ignores abstraction and accepts substance.

 


73. Fate
Who is brave and bold will perish;
Who is brave and subtle will benefit.
The subtle profit where the bold perish
For fate does not honour daring.
And even the sage dares not tempt fate.
Fate does not attack, yet all things are conquered by it;
It does not ask, yet all things answer to it;
It does not call, yet all things meet it;
It does not plan, yet all things are determined by it.

Fate's net is vast and its mesh is coarse,
Yet none escape it.

 


74. Execution
If people were not afraid of death,
Then what would be the use of an executioner?
If people were only afraid of death,
And you executed everyone who did not obey,
No one would dare to disobey you.
Then what would be the use of an executioner?

People fear death because death is an instrument of fate.
When people are killed by execution rather than by fate,
This is like carving wood in the place of a carpenter.
Those who carve wood in place of a carpenter
Often injure their hands.

 


75. Rebellion
When rulers take grain so that they may feast,
Their people become hungry;
When rulers take action to serve their own interests,
Their people become rebellious;
When rulers take lives so that their own lives are maintained,
Their people no longer fear death.
When people act without regard for their own lives
They overcome those who value only their own lives.

 


76. Flexibility
A newborn is soft and tender,
A crone, hard and stiff.
Plants and animals, in life, are supple and succulent;
In death, withered and dry.
So softness and tenderness are attributes of life,
And hardness and stiffness, attributes of death.
Just as a sapless tree will split and decay
So an inflexible force will meet defeat;
The hard and mighty lie beneath the ground
While the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.

 


77. Need
Is the action of nature not unlike drawing a bow?
What is higher is pulled down, and what is lower is raised up;
What is taller is shortened, and what is thinner is broadened;
Nature's motion decreases those who have more than they need
And increases those who need more than they have.
It is not so with Man.
Man decreases those who need more than they have
And increases those who have more than they need.

To give away what you do not need is to follow the Way.
So the sage gives without expectation,
Accomplishes without claiming credit,
And has no desire for ostentation.

 


78. Yielding
Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor do away with it.
The soft overcomes the hard,
The yielding overcomes the strong;
Every person knows this,

 
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