Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 26
Movement is the root of light;
Inactivity is the master of the hasty.
Therefore the Sage travels all day
But never leaves his provision-cart.
In the midst of honor and glory,
He lives leisurely, undisturbed.
How can the ruler of a great country
Make light of his role in the empire (by rushing about)?
In foolishness, the Center is lost;
In hastiness, self-mastery is lost.
(Translated by Yu Tang Lin)
There are many types of people’s daily behavior. Of prudence and frivolity, which is better? Lao Tzu thinks prudence is better.
Of calmness and a quick temper, which is better? Lao Tzu thinks calmness is better.
A virtuous saint must behave steadily in his daily life. Even if he has attained high ground and is rich and wealthy, he will still have to be able to detach from materialism and not be trapped in it.
Lao Tzu saw that the power of a monarch, which governs the people with frivolous impatience rather than prudence, and wages war without considering the lives of others, he believes the king is not a man of virtue, and he cannot detach from the materialistic world.
You cannot be prudent and frivolous at the same time, and you cannot keep quiet while impatient. In hasty conduct, nothing will go smoothly, and it is impossible to accomplish anything.
Therefore, being prudent and calm instead of being hasty and impatient will help us not to lose our roots and our self-control.