The person of superior virtue does not practice virtue,
and this is why he has virtue.
The person of inferior virtue cannot forget about virtue,
and that is why he is without it.
The person of virtue does not think to act,
and does not try to control the outcome.
The person of compassion thinks to act,
and also does not try to control the outcome.
The person of righteousness thinks to act,
but tries to control the outcome.
The person of propriety thinks to act,
and if he cannot control the outcome will get involved and force it.
Therefore when the Tao is lost you resort to virtue,
when virtue is lost you resort to compassion,
when compassion is lost you resort to righteousness,
when righteousness is lost you resort to propriety.
Propriety has only a veneer of loyalty and sincerity,
and this is the beginning of discord.
A person who prematurely believes that they comprehend the Tao
sees only its external luster,
and this is the beginning of delusion.
Therefore the wise person prefers substance to the superficial,
dwells in the fruit and avoids the flower,
embraces the within and rejects the without.
-Lao-tzu- (Tao Te Ching, verse 38, interpretation by Robert Brookes)