What is secure is easily held.
What's not yet sure is easily quelled.
What is brittle is easily shattered.
What is little is easily scattered.

Dissolve a problem before it comes near.
Establish order lest chaos appear.

A tree that fills a man's embrace
begins as a seedling at its base.
A nine-layered terrace finds its birth
in modest basketfuls of earth.
A journey to a distant land
begins with a step from where you stand.

Who acts may rue it.
Who grasps may lose it.
A wise man never acts, has naught to rue.
He never grasps, has naught to lose.

How often one fails on the verge of success.
Be ever mindful in the urge to progress.

A wise man aims to be free of want
and never values rarities.
Forsaking what is taught as true,
he does what others never do.
He guides all creatures to their natures each
and never grasps beyond his reach.

© Douglas Allchin 2002