Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  Lao Tzu (c. 604–c. 531 B.C.)

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1020
AUTHOR: Lao Tzu (c. 604–c. 531 B.C.)
QUOTATION: Of the best rulers
The people (only) know that they exist;
The next best they love and praise;
The next they fear;
And the next they revile.

When they do not command the people’s faith,
Some will lose faith in them,
And then they resort to oaths!
But (of the best) when their task is accomplished, their work done,
The people all remark, “We have done it ourselves.”
ATTRIBUTION: LAO TZU, The Wisdom of Laotse, trans. and ed. Lin Yutang, chapter 17, p. 114 (1948).
SUBJECTS: Leadership