Difficult and Easy


Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn’t cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

— Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. Translation by Stephen Mitchell.

Translations of the Tao Te Ching are widely debated, see the Wikipedia’s article. The Xenophon Library offers line by line comparisons of several translations, including chapter 63. The title of this entry is taken from Lin Yutang’s translation.

Comments are closed.