Don’t praise talent


Don’t praise talent,
and people will not contend.
Don’t value possessions,
and people will not steal.
Don’t display treasures
and people will not envy.

The master, in ruling, will:
Empty people’s minds,
but fill their bellies;
Weaken their wills,
but strengthen their bones.

Always keeping the people
free from knowledge and desire,
the master keeps the erudite
from wrong action.

For those who practice not-doing,
everything will fall into place.

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