That which is at rest is easily held.
That which has not yet emerged is easily prevented.
That which is fragile is easily shattered.
That which is small is easily dispersed.
Deal with things before they emerge,
set things in order before there is discord.
The giant tree starts out as the tiniest shoot,
the tallest tower starts out as a single brick,
the longest journey starts with the first step.
Taking action leads to failure,
seizing at things results in their loss.
Therefore the wise person does not act and does not fail,
he does not grasp and thus loses nothing.
People pursue their affairs, constantly near success,
and yet ultimately meet with failure.
If you are as careful at the end as at the beginning,
your activities will not end in failure.
The wise person seeks freedom from desire
and does not treasure precious things.
He learns not to hold onto ideas.
He restores what others pass by,
and thereby assists in their development naturally.
He does not presume to interfere.
-Lao-tzu- (Tao Te Ching, verse 64, interpretation by Robert Brookes)