Rear them, but do not lay claim to them; control them, but never lean upon them, be their steward, but do not manage them. This is called the mysterious Power.
Tao Te Ching
Topic: Education & Character
“Tao gave them birth;
The power of Tao reared them,
Shaped them according to their kinds,
Perfected them, giving to each its strength.
Therefore of the ten thousand things there is not one that does not worship Tao and do homage to its power. Yet no mandate ever went forth that accorded to Tao the right to be worshiped, nor to its power the right to receive homage. It was always and of itself so.
Therefore as Tao bore them and the power of Tao reared them, made them grow, fostered them, harbored them, brewed for them, so you must
Rear them, but do not lay claim to them;
Control them, but never lean upon them,
Be their steward, but do not manage them.
This is called the mysterious Power.“
Tao Te Ching
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture - a Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. Paragon House, 1991, p. 205 [Tao Te Ching 51].
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Tao Te Ching 51
The Chinese word te, here translated ‘power,’ may also be translated ‘virtue’ in the sense of efficacy. This passage can also be taken in an environmental stewardship sense, as well as in a political sense as prescribing the stewardship of good government.