Tuesday, February 8, 2011

all their actions have vanished


In an age when the Tao is followed,
no one rewards the talented
or pays special attention
to the lovely, the virtuous, or the wise.
Those who govern
are simply the highest branches
on the tree, and the people wander
in freedom, like deer in the woods.
They are honest but think nothing of it,
they naturally do what is right,
they are kind without any conception
of kindness, and are trustworthy
though they wouldn't know what that means.
They keep no records of their good deeds,
because good deeds are so common.
That is why all their actions
have vanished, without a trace.

~ Stephen Mitchell
from The Second Book of the Tao