The Great Tao flows everywhere.
It may go left or right.
All things depend on it for life, and it does not run away from them.
It accomplishes its purpose, but does not claim credit for itself.
It shelters all creatures but does not claim to be master over them.
Always without desires, it may be called The Small.
All things come to it and it does not master them.
Thus, it may be called the Great.
Like the Great Tao, the sage does not claim greatness,
And thereby the sage achieves greatness.
As I Understand It:
Great people who affect the human life in a positive way are extraordinary individuals. They achieve fame and fortune. They may even command and dominate. But the greatness of the Tao is not the same. The people who have experienced the flow of the Tao do not own or take over. They do not crave for status or assets.
When we feel the flow of the Tao our perspective changes. We do not want to possess or want power over other people. We feel the flow of greatness even in difficult or unreasonable people, although they have not yet felt it themselves.
Experiencing the Tao is human legacy–not only for the sages to feel. Each one of us can experience it. For the starters, let’s keep away from making judgments, and not preach to those who do not behave the way our ego wants them to behave. This only results in frustration.
When a spark of the Tao lights within, the person is generous in speech yet she does not boast, she is generous in kindness yet she does not announce, and she is generous in thought yet she declines recognition. These are the signs of a sage.
The Way of Lao Tzu, tr. Wing-Tsit Chan, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.
Dyer, Wayne W., Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.