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He who stands on tiptoe does not stand (firm);
He who strains his strides does not walk (well);
He who reveals himself is not luminous;
He who justifies himself is not far-famed;
He who boasts of himself is not given credit;
He who prides himself is not chief among men.
These in the eyes of Tao
Are called “the dregs and tumors of Virtue,”
Which are things of disgust.
Therefore the man of Tao spurns them.
(Translated by Yu Tang Lin)
If you stand on your toes and want to stand tall, you can’t stand.
If you want to move fast by stretching your stride, you can’t walk far.
He who shows off will not shine.
He who is self -righteous will not be respected
He who is self-boasting will not gain merit.
He who is self-conceited cannot be a leader.
By the perception of the Tao, those four actions are superfluous.
They are things of disgust, and the people of the Tao are less likely to do so.
Lao Tzu has mentioned these “four noes principle ” in Chapter 22, and from his repetition of it, we can tell how much Lao Tzu dislikes such people. Indeed, we can find people with these characteristics everywhere, so all the more we should recognize them. Otherwise, we will be walking further away from the Tao.