That which which is at rest may easily be maintained.
    That which has not happened may yet be forestalled.
    That which is brittle is easy to break
    That which is small is lightly dispersed.
    Deal with disorder before it arises;
    Manage matters before they occur.

    A tree too large to embrace begins as a little shoot.
    A nine-story tower begins as a shovel of dirt.
    A thousand-mile journey begins beneath your foot.

    Contriving often ruins things; what you would grasp slips away.
    Never contriving, the sage never spoils things.
    Never grasping, he lets nothing slip. 

    How often things are botched on the verge of completion!
    Be as careful at the end as at the beginning.

    The sage desires freedom from desire,
    Doesn’t value the rare and expensive,
    Learns the secret of unlearning, and
    Makes up for the mistakes of others.
    Helps the ten thousand beings find themselves
    In the course of nature, and without presuming to interfere.

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