Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Chapter 7
Less praise, less competition

Many believe that by bragging and showing off they gain approval and respect. However, the opposite normally results. Crowing over accomplishments only invites resentment, even hatred. This becomes more extreme when the victory is over a superior or someone in a high place. Superiority in appearance or personality is more easily accepted but not that of intelligence. Much better to be like the stars, complementing but not rivaling the sun, to take Lao Tzu's advice and have "weak wishes and strong bones." Triumph and superiority over others only makes us a target for competition, criticism, and conflict. Much better to hide our virtues, our achievements, our competence like a person hiding their beauty in old clothes.

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