Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 33
Strategic Withdrawal

One of the greatest lessons in life revolves around learning to refuse negative influences and external demands, to cut through sidetracks, to disengage from unimportant activities that steal precious time, and to disinvolve ourselves from people and affairs that don't directly concern us. This preserves goodwill, esteem, and the freedom to always choose the best course of action. The cultivation of this discipline also gives us insight and skill in preventing others from inappropriate involvement in our own affairs, inhibits the taking advantage of friendships, avoids the great failing of excess which always creates a vice, and promotes the important quality of moderation that keeps us in the good graces of others without having to abandon ourselves.

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