Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 44

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 44

J Legge

Or fame or life,
Which do you hold more dear?
Or life or wealth,
To which would you adhere?
Keep life and lose those other things;
Keep them and lose your life:–which brings
Sorrow and pain more near?

Thus we may see,
Who cleaves to fame
Rejects what is more great;
Who loves large stores
Gives up the richer state.

Who is content
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop
Incurs no blame.
From danger free
Long live shall he.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 44

J H McDonald

Which is more important, your honor or your life?
Which is more valuable, your possessions or your person?
Which is more destructive, success or failure?

Because of this, great love extracts a great cost
and true wealth requires greater loss.

Knowing when you have enough avoids dishonor,
and knowing when to stop will keep you from danger
and bring you a long, happy life.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 44

Lin Yutang

Fame or one’s own self, which does one love more?
One’s own self or material goods, which has more worth?
Loss (of self) or possession (of goods), which is the greater evil?

Therefore: he who loves most spends most,
He who hoards much loses much.
The contented man meets no disgrace;
Who know when to stop runs into no danger –
He can long endure.

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