The sea is the king of all the mountain streams
Because it stays below them.
Humility gives it its power.
Those desiring superior positions must speak humbly.
Those desiring to lead must follow.
When the sage places himself above the people,
They do not feel his weight.
When he places himself in front of the people,
They do not feel hurt.
The sage stays low so the world never tires of exalting him.
He stays subservient so the world never tires of making him the king.
As I Understand It:
Be humble. Learn from the sea. Stay low and hundred streams will flow to you. The sea never lords its greatness.
People are attracted to those who are humble and who do not dominate. Stifle your habit of interfering and telling others what to do. Even if you’re richer, older and wiser than people around you, never boast or brag.
Dyer, W. Wayne. Change Your Thought–Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Hay House, Inc. 2007.
The Way of Lao Tzu (Tao-te Ching), Translated, with introductory essays, comments, and notes by Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1963.