Things at rest are easy to maintain.
Problems not yet visible are easy to prevent.
Brittle things are easily broken.
Small things are easily lost.
Manage issues before they come into being.
Set things in order before the chaos begins.
Trees held in both arms begin as a seedling.
A nine story building begins as a heap of dirt.
A thousand mile journey begins with a step.
A woman of action spoils the moment.
A woman who grasps, loses.
Therefore, the sage takes no action and nothing is ruined.
The sage does not grasp and nothing is lost.
People nearing completion often fail.
Practice caution at the end as much as the beginning,
and there will be success.
The sage does not desire to collect rare treasures.
Nor does she desire to collect understanding,
thus she returns what has been lost.
The Ten Thousand things are gently guided
back to their true treasure,
while the sage remains still.