30 – The Use of Force

cc image by alastairb on Flickr

cc image by alastairb on Flickr

When one leads people by the way of the Tao,
Force and military strength
are not recommended –
There is usually retaliation.

Thorns and brambles appear
where armies are stationed.
Famine is often the aftermath of war.

A skillful commander achieves her purpose
and then stops,
Not venturing to take the path of force.

She achieves her purpose and does not boast,
She achieves her purpose and does not criticize,
She achieves her purpose and is not proud,
She achieves her purpose with reluctance,
She achieves her purpose without the use of force.

Over development is unnatural and hastens decay.
Not being of Tao, it comes to an early end.

Read the essay on Chapter 30

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