When the Sage Rules

Dao De Jing – Chapter 66

If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility.
If he would lead them, he must follow behind.
In this way when the sage rules, the people will not feel oppressed;
When he stands before them, they will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him and will not tire of him.

Because he does not compete,
He does not meet competition.

The attitudes you hold in relation to those to whom you are accountable tend to shape the attitudes held toward you by others. That’s not to say that you are the root cause of every ill spirit directed your way, but it is worth taking an honest look at yourself to make sure you didn’t have it coming to you.

If anything, leadership provides those who rise to the occasion with regular opportunities to refine.

5 thoughts on “When the Sage Rules

  1. To acknowledge the responsibilities we have for others is humbling in itself. With humility and a sense of great responsibility comes an appreciation for those in our world setting the tone for the acknowledgement of the leadership we are to provide. Thanks for your words.


  2. Zach

    If you are to lead effectively and without hipocracy, you must live in a way that you are more strict with yourself than you are with the people you lead. In this way, the expectations you place on others are never more than you place on yourself. Refinement should be a constant, lifelong process. A leader should lead in this as well.


  3. Ricardo B.

    That’s a good habit to get into – that whenever a problem arises in your life, assume responsibility in an appropriate way by dealing with it justly and then see how much you had to do with its emergence. The law of the harvest is constantly working and you are going to have to pull up weeds every once in awhile. That’s ok as they’ll eventually diminish as your skills in tending to the soil of your life improves. And you’ll need these skills in greater abundance as the upward draft of life places you naturally in settings which require greater composure, strength and wisdom. Every opportunity indeed is welcomed by those who refuse inconvenience for the chance to practice and gain experience.


  4. MMc

    I’ve noticed this is nearly every arena of living; business, , schools, church, political and even social organizations. Leadership that holds its leadership in contempt or on the contrary has created an arbitrary omnipotent relationship with them usually creates the same climate with those that they are responsible for. I think often it is very subconscious but the relationships do tend to mirror each other. That said it would seem giving great care for creating a respectful, transparent interchange with who we are responsible to would be intelligent.


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