When the country is ruled with kindness, the people are simple.
When the country is ruled with cruelty, the people are cunning.
Disaster is what fortune relies on.
Fortune is what disaster subdues.
Who knows how it will all end?
Try to make people happy,
You lay the groundwork for despair.
Try to make people moral,
You lay the groundwork for sin.
The smart man is sharp, but doesn’t cut,
Pointed, but doesn’t pierce,
Straightforward, but doesn’t lose control.
Brilliant but not blinding.