The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 80

80.

A small country with a few people
Will not use their machines even if they have them,
Will not travel far if they fear death;
Even if they have boats and carriages they will not use them;
Even if they have armies they will not deploy them,
Using knotted ropes to communicate.
Sweet their food,
Beautiful their attire,
At peace at home,
Laughterful their customs.
Each country is close enough to see its neighbours,
To hear the clucking of their chickens
And the barking of their dogs,
And grow old and die
Without (the people) ever leaving home.

小國寡民。使有什伯之器而不用;使民重死而不遠徙。雖有舟輿,無所乘之,雖有甲兵,無所陳之。使民復結繩而用之,甘其食,美其服,安其居,樂其俗。鄰國相望,雞犬之聲相聞,民至老死,不相往來。

 

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