"Therefore the Sage, wishing to be above the people, must by his words put himself below them; wishing to be before the people, he must put himself behind them. In this way, though he has his place above them, the people do not feel his weight; though he has his place before them, they do not feel it as an injury. Therefore all mankind delight to exalt him, and weary of him not."
"The Sage expects no recognition for what he does; he achieves merit but does not take it to himself; he does not wish to display his worth."
"I have three precious things, which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle, and you can be bold; be frugal, and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others, and you can become a leader among men."
"But in the present day men cast off gentleness, and are all for being bold; they spurn frugality, and retain only extravagance; they discard humility, and aim only at being first. Therefore they shall surely perish."
— Extracts from Lao-Tze's Tao Teh Ching (translation by Giles)
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE