8 – Like Water

cc Image by +Kev on Flickr

cc Image by +Kev on Flickr

The highest goodness is to be like water.
Water benefits
all the Ten Thousand Things,
yet does not compete.

Water will go to the low places
everyone despises
and be content.

This is like Tao.
Tao dwells in low places.
Tao dwells with all people.

A home prefers level ground.
A heart prefers depth.
Relationships prefer kindness.
Words prefer sincerity.
Leadership prefers peace.

Serving others in daily life is most effective when one lives in rhythm.
Woman is respected when she does not compete and is therefore without blame.


Read the essay on Chapter 8


  1. Have you considered “One is respected when she …” on the last line? The use of “woman” there seems a bit awkward. You could say “A woman …” but then it would seem to apply only to women and not to men (loses its gender neutrality).
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